Tuesday, December 31, 2013

How to Boost Your Body's Metabolism After Holiday Feasting!

If you have been a bit naughty over the holidays from excessive feasting, you are not alone.  This is the time of year many of us will pack on a few extra pounds from overindulging on all those tempting treats.  Instead of letting your scale continue to depress you, you can learn which foods can boost your metabolism to get your body back.

Top on your list should be protein such as skinless chicken, turkey, eggs, beans, fish, and low-fat dairy.  You want those foods in your diet because these take more energy for your body to digest than pasta, potatoes, breads, and other carbohydrates.  

Try to acquire a taste for hot red peppers and add them to your recipes.  These have a compound, capsaicin, that has been proven to fire up the metabolism.  Shaking on red pepper flakes in place of salt can spice up taste, help your body burn more fat, and also help you retain less water weight.

You might want to add green and oolong teas to your diet since they have metabolism boosting, catechins.  

Another helpful way is to jumpstart your metabolism through ice-cold foods and beverages, which trick the body into burning more energy to offset that cold shock to the system.  For every glass of ice water you drink, you can burn off ten calories without trying.  Drink multiple glasses and that number can add up!

These suggestions are a good place to start.  I hope you try them because they do work, if taken to heart.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Love Your Winter Cap, But Hate Flat, Frizzy Hair?

Keeping warm is important, but so keeping your style intact instead of flat.

The only solution for keeping warmer in frigid temperatures is to cover your head.  Even though a cute woolen cap can be the perfect outdoor accessory, it can crush your hairstyle and leave you with a head of static electricity once you take it off.  So what is a girl to do to keep hair beautiful without giving up her fashionable collection of caps, scarves, and other winter hats that press hair down?  

One of the most important things is to keep hair regularly trimmed at least every eight weeks.  By doing so, you will help hair bounce back into shape once removing that cap. 

Without adequate moisture, winter hair can frizz and become full of static.  Make it a habit to give your hair a deep conditioning treatment once a week to keep it hydrated.  Healthier hair looks better and can be more resilent to keep that style intact. 

You might want to try applying styling creams and serums only on the ends of your hair when wearing that cap for a length of travel time to best avoid a flat, greasy look.  

When in a rush to blow-dry hair, you need to dry it completely to make sure that hair behaves.  Any missed section of damp hair can cause it to later bump up and create a funny hump on your head once you take your hat off.  

As you apply your hand lotion or body lotion, you might want to rub a tiny bit of what was left over your hair.  This little trick does help combat static electricity.  

In fact, you will never need to worry about static cling again if you rub some lotion on your pantyhose and slip in the winter before dressing.  Keep some lotion at work and reapply later when you start to cling again will stop it.

Believe it or not, a sheet of a fabric softener rubbed over your hair works to smooth that static problem as well. 

If all else fails and you are not satisfied and need more volume, try this little trick.  Turn your head upside and spray with a volumizing hair spray. Then shake out the hair as it begins to dry before flipping it back in shape. 

Here's to staying warm and keeping your hair amazing with just a few tweaks to your normal routine!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Knowing When to Apply Under Eye Concealer Makes a Big Difference!

One of the best ways to camouflage under eye darkness besides a great concealer is knowing when to apply it while doing your makeup. 

If you have been in the habit of starting with concealer first and then finishing with foundation, you dilute the masking capabilities of the product by blending. This order of application will only hamper your efforts.

Therefore, never start working on your eyes with concealer until your foundation is on first.  This will definitely improve your under eye lightening results.  

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Get the New Year Off to the Right Start Serving My Delicious Salami Stuffed Mushroom Appetizers!

Mushrooms are so tasty as well as packed with nutritional benefits that you can't help but love them.  In fact, I use them in a lot of cooking for all that extra goodness they bring to dishes like with this recipe that I want to share today for my stuffed salami mushroom appetizers.  

These incredible mushroom caps are bursting with flavor and packed with savory salami-herb filling that will have your family and guests salivating once that aroma of them baking escapes from your oven.

Making this recipe is not overly complicated, but you will need to clean and use fresh mushrooms, do a little chopping, frying, and then assembling before baking.  After that, you and your family and friends will go wild with pleasure once you pop one in your mouth.

Medium size mushrooms are your best bets for stuffing purposes.  You will need about thirty of them for this recipe.

If you're also a big fan of mushrooms like I am, you need to try this recipe or my favorite meatless stuffed mushrooms--and soon!

My Delicious Stuffed Mushroom Appetizers

1-1/2 pounds of fresh mushrooms (about 30 of medium-sized)
1/4 cup of olive oil + 2 teaspoons for brushing the caps
1/2 cup of finely chopped salami
2 cloves of fresh garlic, finely chopped
4 tablespoons fine soft bread crumbs
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
2 tablespoons of ketchup
1/2 teaspoon of basil
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of black pepper

Preheat your oven to 425-degrees.

After you clean your mushrooms, cut the stems from the caps and chop them.

Next, heat your olive oil in your skillet before adding your chopped stems, salami, and the garlic, browning for about five minutes.

Cool the cooked mixture a bit first before stirring in the rest of the ingredients.

Grease your baking pan and then line it with the reserved mushroom caps.

Stuff each cavity with some of the bread crumb mixture.

Brush the caps with the remaining two teaspoons of olive oil.

Bake for about six or eight minutes and then serve immediately.


Friday, December 27, 2013

Winter Weather Hand Care 101

Cold winter weather can be brutal to our hands with chapping and cracking or even worse, turning them rough and scaly.  However, there are some helpful tips to survive the constantly plunging temperatures to keep hands soft and pain-free.

The first line of defense is never leave the house without wearing your thick gloves or mittens.  This may sound silly, but the skin of your hands is not the only thing to suffer when not taking safeguards.  You will also pay the price with your cuticles.  They will dry out and become ragged.  Sometimes, they can even pull away from the nail bed to harbor bacteria.  This is the time to start incorporating a cuticle oil into your beauty routine to keep that area lubricated.  If you don't have any immediately on hand, you also could rub your lip balm over the base of the nail to protect that vulnerable cuticle.

You need to moisturize more frequently during the winter.  Pay special attention to the curve between your thumb and pointer finger because this skin area is prone to splitting.  If you often experience this problem of your hands forming cracks and bleeding, you might need to visit your dermatologist and see about a cortisone cream.  You need to heal those cracks.  Otherwise, you risk them becoming infected.

Look for heavy duty hand creams and lotion formulas that have both humectant and occlusive ingredients for the best winter protection.  Good humectants might be ingredients such as glycerin, hyaluronic acid, urea, lactic acid, panthenol, propylene glycol, and aloe to attract moisture and carry it deep inside the cells of the skin of the hands. 

For the most part, occlusive ingredients are greasier ingredients like shea butter, lanolin, petroleum, cocoa butter, silicones, and mineral oil that are capable of locking in moisture on the top layers of the skin like a barrier to prevent evaporation. 

To get even more of those heavier hand creams and lotions, you should habitually apply them to damp skin. 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

A Quick Way to Snag a Prettier Complexion--Sibu Beauty's Sea Buckthorn Nourishing Facial 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.**
Sibu Beauty nourishing facial cream.jpeg
Sibu Beauty's Sea Buckthorn Nourishing Facial Cream

I had heard about Sibu Beauty but never tried any of their skin care until approached by the company.  Since I am perpetually curious whether there is something better available than what I am currently using to improve my complexion, I thought their Sea Buckthorn Nourishing Facial Cream for daytime might be a wonderful place to start.

This creamy, pale yellow lotion has a welcoming orange scent with a pump dispenser.  The 100% natural formula includes the certified pure sea buckthorn berry that is an excellent source for skin its Omega 7, which is a superstar fatty acid for repairing and protecting hair and nails as well, along with carotenoids, flavonoids, minerals, and vitamins to reverse damage.  

Furthermore, Omega 7 can also make a difference in managing your weight, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal health that is also documented in clinical studies.  Learn more about the wonders of Omega 7 to best appreciate what this intriguing ingredient can do.

From the beginning, I was on the road to falling in love with this product.  It was not greasy, felt wonderful even on dry winter skin, and left my face feeling like velvet.  Even my pores seemed to shrink the first time I used it and that is no exaggeration.  It is nearly three weeks of use and my complexion keeps constantly evolving with more even skin tone and luminosity every time I check in the mirror.

The 1-fl. oz. Sea Buckthorn Nourishing Facial Cream retails for $20.95.  My advice is to stop at Sibu Beauty and check this product out for prettier skin!

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

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

My Favorite Christmas Pound Cake Is Joy From the Oven!

Today I want to share a very special holiday treat with this pound cake.  My Favorite Christmas Pound Cake is moist with a fine crumb texture and is delectable with more extract flavorings than I normally use in one recipe and sour cream.   What pumps up the flavor even more is apricot brandy, which adds that special touch of flavor-magic to this recipe.

I usually use a margarine (but never spread) when I need to cream the sugar when baking. However, this is one time I prefer using butter for this particular recipe.  You can use vegetable shortening or butter flavored shortening, but butter seems to bring a richer taste to this cake.

You don't need any frosting on my cake since it is delicious just as it is.  Nonetheless, if you usually like to frost your pound cake, a thin orange glaze is also quite good.

I hope you get a chance to try my recipe sometime over the holidays because I think you'll love it as much as I do.

My Favorite Christmas Pound Cake

3 cups of sugar
1 cup of butter or vegetable shortening
6 large eggs
3 cups of flour
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda, leveled
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of sour cream
1 tablespoon of orange extract
1/2 tablespoon of rum extract or rum
1/2 tablespoon of lemon extract
1/2 tablespoon of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup apricot brandy

Sift the flour with the baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl.

In another mixing bowl, cream the sugar with the butter with your electric mixer thoroughly.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating each to mix well into the batter.

Add the sour cream, all the extracts, and the brandy next and beat through to combine.

Pour into a greased and floured tube pan.

Bake in a 325-degree oven for about one to one hour and fifteen minutes, depending on how your oven is regulated.  Test to see if done with a cake tester to see if anything sticks.


Monday, December 23, 2013

Shine This Season With These Festive Fall/Winter 2013 NYC New York Color Lip Products! (Review)--Photos + SWATCHES!

Disclaimer:  This post is based on free products 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.
NYC New York Color logo.jpeg
NYC New York Color

A great way to get ready for holiday parties is with tempting lips.  After all, you need them to be as enticing as possible since you never know who and where you might be under the mistletoe with.  

NYC New York Color sent me some hot recommendations of their various lines to get you prepped in style with the most trendy shades of the season.  Ranging from deep plums to vibrant reds to shocking hot pinks, these are the colors to you get noticed!

To give you some inspiration, I photographed the eight products you may want to pick up.  Starting on the left and working to the right is: City Duet 2- in-1 Lipstick in (#423 The Hot Pinks); City Proof 8 Hr Lip Glosses (#452 Perpetually Hot Pink and #454 Round the Clock Ruby); Smooch Proof 16 HR Lip Stains (#494 Smooch Proof, #497 Rock on Ruby and #495 Endless Spice), and the Big Bold Plumping Lip Glosses (#475 Plumped Plum and #471 Supersized Red on the far right).

The Big Bold Plumping Lip Gloss has a bigger sponge and really packed intense shine in a comfortable formula.  I didn't notice much plumping, but loved the warmth and glistening power of this plum laced with brown in #475.  The red in #471 is warm as well with a trace of orange to punch it up.  It retails for $3.99 a tube and does wear very nicely for hours without letting you down or escaping from your lip line.

What do you think of me in #475 Plumped Plum?
Here I am modeling #471 Supersized Red.
The City Duet 2-in-1 Lipstick is fun to create new looks with because it has two sides of different color.  One half of #423 is a bold fuchsia and the other is a cool lilac-pink.  Just changing the way you apply each side can darken or lighten for endless possibilities for $2.99.

How do you like me in #423 The Hot Pinks?
Smooch Proof 16 Hr Lip Stain can help you out of a bind after those kisses keep coming.  This is highly pigmented color in pen form that stays put for hours on end even through mistletoe, food, and drinks.  The tip is easy enough to line with before filling in the color.  However, you might want to top it off with some lip balm or gloss to hydrate your lips.  Color wise #495 is a beautiful red-brown, #497 is a deeper red than #494. These lip stains retail for $4.99 each.

Here I am wearing #495 Endless Spice.
Take a look at #497 Rock on Ruby.
Check out #494 Smooch Proof above.
City Proof 8 Hr Lip Gloss is awesome all around for the texture, feel, color, and incredible wear.  #454 is a rich deep red infused with pink while #452 is a hot pink.  This gloss retails for $3.49 a piece.

Above I have on #454 Perpetually Hot Pink.

Here is #497 Rock the Clock Ruby that I am wearing.

I do think NYC New York Color makes fabulous affordable lip products.  Check them out when shopping because if never hurts to be mistletoe ready!

Disclaimer:  Free products were provided to facilitate this review--not my opinion.*

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Arganio Skin & Hair Care's 100% Pure Organic Argan Oil and Argan Soft Skin Lotion 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.**
Arganio Skin & Hair Care's 100% Pure Organic Argan Oil and Argan Soft Skin Lotion.jpeg
Arganio Skin & Hair Care's 100% Pure Organic Argan Oil and Argan Soft Skin Lotion

Until Arganio Skin & Hair Care reached out and asked me if I would be willing to review their products, I had never heard of this company.   I do like argan oil products.  Therefore, I decided to see how their 100% Pure Organic Argan Oil and Argan Soft Skin Lotion measured up.

The first one I tried was the argan oil, which I began using twice a day after cleansing.  What I found works best to prevent a greasy feeling is to allow your skin to remain slightly damp before applying a few drops of the argan oil.  Two drops were all I needed to moisturize my face and give my dry complexion a bit of a glow.

I also like using argan oil to tame my hair when it is need of some extra control.  A few drops to stubborn hair manage it with an extra shine when you don't want to weigh it down with more styling products.

Did you know that you can strengthen brittle nails by soaking them for ten minutes in a solution of equal parts of the argan oil and lemon juice?  There are so many ways you can use argan oil and benefit. 

Arganio 100% Pure Organic Argan Oil is rich in antioxidants, vitamin E, carotenoids, and fatty acids that can be used on all skin types.  I haven't been using this product long, but it is a nice quality argan oil that comes in a dark blue tinted glass bottle with a dropper applicator that is certified organic by ECOCERT in Morocco.  

I would have liked to have seen the Arganio formula when the ingredients were at their most active state instead of testing one nearing its expiration date to truly judge what it is capable of when fresh. Nonetheless, it lubricates the skin and hair very well.

The Arganio Argan Soft Skin Lotion is meant to be used on the hands, feet, and body.  This is a lightweight lotion with lavender essential oil in a pump dispenser that is wonderfully absorbed by the skin without leaving you feeling greasy.  Though it is not intended for the face, I tried some there as well and liked the comfort and softness it left behind. 

The 30-ml 100% Pure Organic Argan Oil retails for $21.99.  The 60-ml (2.02 oz.) Argan Soft Skin Lotion is priced at $14.99.  Both were wonderful products that I really liked.  Do visit Arganio Skin & Hair Care for more information or to purchase. 

Disclaimer:  Free products were provided to facilitate this review--not my opinion.*

Saturday, December 21, 2013

I Found Dry Winter Skin Salvation!--L'Occitane en Provence's Shea Butter Ultra Rich Body Cream and Dry Skin Shea Hand 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.**
L'Occitane's Shea Butter Ultra Rich Body Cream and Dry Skin Shea Hand Cream.jpeg
L'Occitane's Shea Butter Ultra Rich Body Cream and Dry Skin Shea Hand Cream

Harsh winter weather is the time of year skin needs extra loving care to keep it soft and hydrated.  Why not lavish that special person on your holiday gift list with some pampering body care from L'Occitane en Provence?  A good place to start might be with their Shea Butter products for some necessary soothing relief.

The Shea Butter Ultra Rich Body Cream is an incredibly concentrated formula.  This cream comes delicately scented with jasmine and has 25% Shea Butter, linseed, mallow, apricot seed oil, vitamin E, and sweet almond and honey extracts.  

Using a rich cream immediately after showering keeps the moisture in before dressing so my skin stayed soft with less chance of itching from over dryness that sometimes occurs at this time of year.  I must say this body cream is nicely absorbed by the skin without feeling greasy afterwards.   What else I liked was that I didn't need to use that much either.  

The Dry Skin 20% Shea Butter Hand Cream was a fabulous product to rescue my dry, chapped hands.  I go through tons of hand cream because they always seem to dry out and are prone to chapping not just during cold weather but all year round.  Hand cream is a necessity at home and in my handbag.

To make matters worse, I have a special problem when washing my hands in public restrooms.  As strange as this may sound, my hands always become red and irritated after those visits and this happens even when I bring my own soap. However, the Shea Butter Hand Cream in the travel size tube I received was just what I needed for almost instantly comforting them.  This may sound hard to believe but this stuff really works fast because within about five minutes my hands improved considerably as far as redness and hurting goes. 

L'Occitane en Provence has some excellent holiday Shea Butter gift sets that would really light up a person's life.  Shea Butter Travel Treats would make a perfect stocking stuffer and a great way to experiment with a 1-oz. Shea Butter Hand Cream and 1-oz. matching Shea Foot Cream.  A Shea Embrace Set is just one other way with Shea Hand Cream, Shea Foot Cream, Shea Body Cream, Shea Soap Milk, and Shea Ultra Rich Shower Cream.  This set usually retails for $110 but is now $68.

I can't tell you how glad I am that I have found L'Occitane en Provence's Shea Butter line and will be ordering more and stocking up on that hand cream soon.  If you haven't tried these products yet and you also are suffering, take it from me these work exceptionally well.  Do order and you can count on relief!   

Disclaimer:  Free products were provided to facilitate this review--not my opinion.*

Friday, December 20, 2013

Amazing New Beauty Finds--IT Cosmetics New Year, Your Most Beautiful You! Five-Piece Collection (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.**
IT Cosmetics New Year, Your Most Beautiful You! Five-Piece Collection.jpeg
IT Cosmetics New Year, Your Most Beautiful You! Five-Piece Collection

Looking good all day was never easier than with the great set of newly launched products from IT Cosmetics with their New Year, Most Beautiful You Five-Piece Collection that showed up at my door.  Inside is everything you need to get your complexion picture-perfect with coverage that illuminates.  

This collection will be on sale for only one day on December 28, 2013 on QVC and QVC.com from midnight to 2:59 A.M. the next day Eastern Standard Time for just $59.96!

I am so thrilled with these new products, which include a Feel the Moment Anti-Aging Primer Serum with Heavenly Luxe Sensory Sweeping Fan Brush, Celebration Foundation Illumination with Heavenly Luxe Double Airbrush Foundation Buffing Brush, and the Eyelift in A Tube - Bye Bye Under Eye and Hello Light Liquid Brightener Dual End Concealer

Though all the products were fantastic, I was particularly impressed with the Feel the Moment Primer.   This primer has caviar extract, hydrolyzed collagen, peptides, hyaluronic acid, vitamins, jojoba, avocado, and deep ocean water.  

Once I swept some of the new primer with my fan brush and the tiny pan that comes with it, my dry skin felt noticeably more hydrated and velvety.  This was a feat considering how extra dry my skin becomes in the winter even with a moisturizer, but this new formula really pumped up that comfort factor for me.  I waited for about a minute until the primer had a chance to set before experimenting with the new Celebration Foundation Illumination in Light.  

After I applied the Celebration Foundation Illumination with the plush Airbrush Foundation  Brush, my pores seemed to vanish and the light beige color suited me nicely.  This is a finely milled foundation that does highlight subtly in the process.  This product beautifully woke up my complexion with a bit more brightness than the Celebration Foundation as it covered and treated my skin with a host of IT Cosmetics remarkable anti-aging ingredients.  

IT Cosmetics Celebration Foundation Illumination.jpeg
IT Cosmetics Celebration Foundation Illumination

The last product in this kit is the new Eyelift in A Tube.  This product combines Bye Bye Under Eye and Hello Light Liquid Brightener Dual End Concealer. 

IT Cosmetics Eyelift in a Tube.jpeg
IT Cosmetics Eyelift in a Tube

The color I got was Light/Medium.  This tube has a sponge wand with a Bye Bye Under Eye concealer at one end (Neutral/Medium) and Hello Light at the other.  The consistency of the concealer is thicker and hides whatever imperfection you need gone.  The product does thin somewhat if you dot some on your hand and dab on for doing the eye area.  

This is the same fine Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer only in new formThe Neutral/Medium shade was just a bit dark for me for under my eyes.  The Hello Light Liquid Brightener at the opposite end had Light Radiance, which did boost the lightness under my eye area more.  I especially loved how this brightener brought a flood of light to my brow and cheek bones. 

Take it from this IT girl, but this is an exciting batch of cosmetics.  Don't miss out because this sale price of $59.96 won't last.  Mark your calendar for December 28 or pre-order IT Cosmetics New Year, Your Most Beautiful You!  Five-Piece Collection  on QVC.com.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

ADORAtherapy's Gal on the Go Mood Boost Spray (Smart) 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.**
ADORAtherapy's Gal on the Go Mood Boost Spray (Smart).jpeg
ADORAtherapy's Gal on the Go Mood Boost Spray (Smart) 

Writing a daily blog and being proud of what you put out always doesn't magically appear just because you sit down to pour out your thoughts on the computer. There are times when the brain is less than cooperative and could use a kick start to get those creative juices flowing again.  Therefore, I was very happy when I received stimulating aromatherapy in the mail with ADORAtherapy's Gal on the Go Mood Boost Spray in Smart.

Using pure natural ingredients created with organic essential oils, the ADORAtherapy Mood Boost  line has seven unique formulas to use scent to change a person's prospective for a better outlook.  Smart has energizing action with top notes of lemon and grapefruit to help increase concentration and clear your thoughts. 

This scent is not overly crisp with freshness as it develops.  Instead, it is a pleasantly softer citrus blend with herbs.  I wish I could say it significantly increased my brainpower, however, that would be farfetched.  What the ADORAtherapy Gal on the Go Mood Boost Spray accomplished was help me relax somewhat after a few sprays to focus on the task of writing. 

There is an ADORAtherapy Gal on the Go Mood Boost Spray  in Seductive, Beautiful, Balanced, Inspired, Awake, Peaceful, and Smart.  Each of the 10 ml sprays retail for $15.  This would make a thoughtful holiday gift with the right targeted sprays to help lift those mental clouds around you.

ADORAtherapy is formulated by Adora Winquist, founder of Opus Gaia.  Learn more about ADORAtherapy or to order visit their website.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

An Ideal Gift for a Perfumista--Guess Girl Belle Fragrance Set (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.

Guess Girl Belle Fragrance Set.jpeg
Guess Girl Belle Fragrance Set

Trying to buy the perfect fragrance for a perfumista can be a challenge with all the beautiful scents on the market.  My advice is to consider the fragrance family she wore or to associate her with for the best possible match.  

If she tends to favor brighter floral scents for today's woman that are sexy, fun, and elegant over heavier spicy ones, then the new Guess Girl Belle fragrance should please her to no end.

The top notes are a bubbling pink champagne, golden delicious apples, and a juicy mix of berries that delightfully tease, dripping over the scent with a happy, energetic radiance. 

The heart notes are so romantic with pink peony, natural jasmine sambac, and violet, lending a fresh floral beauty to those luscious fruits.  Guess Girl Belle turns you into a captivating goddess with admiring eyes glued to your every move as this fragrance warms.  

Yet, the base is a slow seduction that taunts with Australian sandalwood, sexy musk, and vanilla, layering this carefully orchestrated fragrance with a powdery graceful beauty that can bewitch!

Of course, you can buy the 3.4 Eau de Toilette for the suggested retail price of $62.  However, the Guess Girl Belle Fragrance Set  that I was sent is a real deal for just $4.00 more because you get the 3.4 Eau de Toilette Spray, Rollerball (10 ml), Shower Cream (2.5 oz.), and the Body Cream (2.5 oz.) for $65. 

Guess Girl Belle Fragrance Set Closeup.jpeg
Get a closer look at this Guess Girl Belle Fragrance Set.

I really do think this is one of the best Guess Girl fragrances yet.  Do get a whiff of this yourself because it is worth your attention!

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

Monday, December 16, 2013

Hot Holiday Male Fragrance Gift--NEW Guess Night Fragrance Set for Men (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.**
Guess Night Fragrance Set for Men.jpeg
Guess Night for Men Fragrance Set

Ladies, if you're still coming up empty-handed on what fragrance your guy might like this holiday season, then Guess Night for Men that launched this Fall, 2013 from perfumers, Antoine Lie and Francis Kurkdjian, may be just the sexy, but modern male scent to please you both.  This warm woody fragrance has an exciting youthful edge that is bursting with a confident energy and underlying sensuality that are very appealing.

The top notes of hot pepper and elemi make for a dynamic peppery opening charged with freshness from sparkling grapefruit.  The unstoppable energy and daring as those notes merge into their own are instantly apparent.  

The heart is where this fragrance becomes deep and seductive with warmth from cedar and vetiver.  You can already pick up the heat, but it is the geranium that brings sophistication to its bold confidence.  

The fragrance dries down with such fuzzy finesse from base notes of patchouli, labdanum, and black vanilla that ends just like a soft and sweet, sexy invitation that a woman can't say no to.  

I do not consider this a unisex fragrance that you will want to borrow, ladies, but I do think it is one very hot male fragrance that definitely should be on your radar when holiday gift shopping for your man.

The Guess Night Fragrance Set can solve your male fragrance dilemma so do look into this great gift.   This includes a Guess Night for Men Eau de Toilette Spray (3.4 oz.), After Shave Balm (2.5 oz.), Shower Gel (2.5 oz.), and Deodorant Body Spray (4 oz.) for a real value with a suggested price of $68!  Trust me, but you both will love this choice!

Guess Night for Men Fragrance Set Boxed.jpeg
Guess Night for Men Fragrance Set, Boxed

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

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Brighten Holiday Spirits With My Special Chocolate-Peppermint Mallow Pie!

Chocolate-Peppermint Mallow Pie.jpeg
Delicious Chocolate-Peppermint Mallow Pie!

Baking something sensational to serve your family and friends for the holidays is easier when you have a really great recipe at your fingertips like my Special Chocolate-Peppermint Mallow Pie.  Imagine cooked chocolate-pudding like filling with mini marshmallows and shredded coconut melting through that velvety mix spiked with peppermint extract and bourbon vanilla to play off that dark deliciousness.  The taste is a decadent chocolate indulgence that you won't be able to resist once you get your first bite.

You simply pour this cooked filling into a prebaked pie shell and will later cover and chill it in the refrigerator.  Please use my oil pie crust recipe if you haven't tried it yet.  No joke, readers, this is the ultimate foolproof pie crust recipe that you will ever come across. 

Even if you never baked a pie before, your crust will turn out flaky with this simple recipe that I am sharing with you.  You have my word on it.  Trust me, but you won't see another pie crust recipe on Nuts 4 Stuff because this is the only one I make these days for any dessert pies, pot pies, quiches, or tarts.

If I already made your mouth water, then I do apologize.  However, I hope when you start your holiday baking that you will remember my recipe and give it a try. 

piece of Chocolate-Peppermint Mallow Pie.jpeg
Here is a piece of my Chocolate-Peppermint Mallow Pie.

My Special Chocolate-Peppermint Mallow Pie

2/3 cup of sugar
4 tablespoons of cornstarch
5 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa
4 large egg yolks
3 cups of evaporated milk
1 cup of mini marshmallows
1 cup of shredded coconut (reserve about 1/4 cup to sprinkle on top)
1 teaspoon of Nielsen-Massey Vanillas Pure Peppermint Extract
1 teaspoon of Nielsen-Massey Vanillas Bourbon Vanilla Extract

Mix  the cornstarch, cocoa and sugar in your pan. 

Add the egg yolks to the milk and whisk together before pouring into the dry ingredients in your saucepan.

Heat the mixture until it thickens to a boil, stirring constantly.

Take off of the heat and stir in the marshmallows, coconut, and extracts before pouring into your baked pie shell.  

Use the reserved coconut to sprinkle on top.

Cover and refrigerate.

Chocolate-Peppermint Mallow Pie front view.jpeg
Chocolate-Peppermint Mallow Pie

Friday, December 13, 2013

NEW Mystifying Floral Beauty--Kerala Ashok Garden Eau de Parfum Spray From Lisa Hoffman Beauty (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 Kerala Ashok Garden perfume.jpeg
Kerala Ashok Garden Eau de Parfum

Lisa Hoffman Beauty recently launched their sixth fragrance with Kerala Ashok Garden.  This fruity-floral is complex and one of mystifying beauty inspired by India's dedicated gardens.  Serenely graceful and yet providing inner strength, this enchanting scent plays delightfully with the senses in a delicate balance as it blooms to life. 

The opening is sweet and luscious with top notes of violet and pear.  The floral does dominates the fruit until the perfect mix of apricot, jasmine, and Ashok flowers emerge in the heart, sheering the fragrance with a calming quality.  The base is warm and exotic with seductive musk and amber competing with green, floral, and spicy notes, adding depth and mystery to its tranquil beauty that is quite unexpected, but bewitching.

I loved the way the layers of this fragrance unfolded. Anyone that loves a floral fragrance with an intriguing side to it definitely needs to look into Lisa Hoffman Beauty's Kerala Ashok Garden

A 60 ml Eau de Parfum Spray retails for $65 and 15 ml goes for $22.  Both forms of Kerala Ashok Garden would be lovely holiday gifts to those on your holiday shopping list.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Have Instant Healthy Color--Vita Liberata's Warm Untinted Tan Lotion (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.

Vita Liberata's Untinted tan lotion.jpeg
Vita Liberata's Warm Untinted Tan Lotion

My light skin is especially pale at this time of year and could benefit from an influx of healthy color.  Since I already tried Vita Liberta's Self Tan Tinted Mousse in Sheer and liked how this award-winning product evened out my slight tan, I looked forward to experimenting with their Warm Untinted Tan Lotion (Light) when approached to sample it. 

Until my first experience with Vita Liberta, I was not particularly fond of self-tanners with all the chemicals needed to make that color change a reality.  However, this company gave me more peace of mind since they use 80% organic extracts, have no parabens, perfumes, and alcohol in a formula that keeps the skin soft and moisturized as it works.

Before I began using this product, I showered and exfoliated with my new sugar scrub to pave the way.  The smoother the surface, the better any self-tanning product adheres to the skin.  After I dried completely, I used my mitt and began applying using circular motions starting from the bottom of my legs to the thighs with this clear lotion.  When I was through, I repeated and blended more lotion to do the back.  What was left on my mitt was enough to finish off my feet.  This stuff does not have any bad smell to it either so you can work without getting a headache in the process. 

Next, I branched out to do the top of the arms to the wrist until everything from the front to the back was covered.  I skipped doing my chest and decollet√© in an attempt to blend up to the bottom and across the shoulders and back since I did not have the recommended Deep for Face (untinted) or Rich for Face (tinted) to tan my face.  I was afraid if I went that high without the recommended product that I might look too obvious.

It is important to use a damp cloth to wipe the knuckles, knees, elbows, ankles and the sides of your feet before this product has a chance to sink in.  This prevents concentrated darkening in those areas so the tan looks more even.  Also, I found using a tanning mitt keeps the tan more even than fingers, which can leave you streaked.

I didn't see much of a change after one time, but I repeated the same routine.  After my second attempt, I was gaining a healthy color.  By the third time, my skin sported a beautiful natural glow that did look natural not like it came out of any tube.

If you are afraid of self-tanners because of horror stories you heard about turning orange, you don't have to worry.  You are in good hands with Vita Liberata all year round.  The Warm Untinted Self Tan Lotion (Light) is what I do recommend for perking up pale skin in just the right degree of tan.  The product retails for $33 for 6.76 fl. oz.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Rev Up Your Look With New Makeup Brushes--#CrownBrush HD Set (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.
Crown Brush HD set.jpeg
Crown Brush 6-Piece HD Cosmetic Brush Set

It is my opinion that a woman can never have enough makeup brushes to keep herself looking good.  Therefore, when I had the chance to review the #CrownBrush  6-Piece HD Cosmetic Brush Set from iFabbo, I signed up to see how they would be.

My set came in a white vinyl zippered case that folded neatly for traveling or packing in your handbag.  Inside, there was a mirror, which was handy for seeing your work and a pair of tweezers besides the six brushes.  The brushes included were: Tapered Blush Brush, Pro Powder Brush, Deluxe Contour Brush, Crease Blender Brush, Chisel Shadow Brush, and a Detail Liner Brush.

These brushes were soft and constructed of high grade synthetic fibers.  If you are watching your budget, this is quite a great set to pick up for $27.95.  Although these aren't the plushiest ones money can buy, these brushes were still very nice to work with.  You will find the right brush in this set for whatever cosmetic you need to use without any problems.

I always think it is convenient to have an extra set of makeup brushes to leave in your handbag instead of constantly packing from makeup bag or vanity.  If you are in the market for new makeup brushes, I suggest checking for this HD Set on #CrownBrush.

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

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Can't Miss Fragrance Gift--Guess Girl Belle Eau de Toilette Review and ($62) Giveaway!--Ends December 27, 2013

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

Guess Girl has a new addition to their original scent that launched September 2013 in with Guess Girl Belle.  This fruity-floral is sensational for the tantalizing way it elegantly flirts and seduces with its bright sensuality. 

This fragrance is far from shy and opens beaming with confidence with notes of bubbling pink champagne, golden delicious apple, and mixed juicy berries.  You can feel the excitement  and anticipation of something glorious about to unfold as those top notes meld together. 

Yet it is the movement of the pink peony, natural jasmine sambac, and violet in the heart that make this fragrance undeniably flirtatious and inviting.  The scent is fresh but romantic.  You feel adored and desired wearing Guess Girl Belle like there is no one else but you to gaze upon the more it warms.

There is no rushing the seduction in this fragrance.  It is slow and deliberate as it dries down with Australian sandalwood, soft musk, and vanilla to lend a powdery delicate beauty that is hard to resist.

I think Guess Girl Belle is one of the best Guess Girl fragrances yet and I loved it.  It is a very girlie floral fragrance that is bright and lasting with a delicate modern femininity.  The 3.4 oz.  Guess Girl Belle Eau de Toilette retails for $62.  If you have a special woman in your life and you are looking for a wonderful holiday gift, I do recommend picking this one up because it is just as extra special as she is!

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

Thanks to Guess and Coty Beauty, one lucky Nuts 4 Stuff reader in the United States wins a 3.4 oz. bottle of Guess Girl Belle Eau de Toilette Spray ($62 value)!

Mandatory to Enter:

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!

Extra Entries:

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

Tweet! Smell Irresistible!  #Win  #GuessGirlBellePerfume @GUESS #Giveaway ($62)  @Nuts4Stuff http://bit.ly/1hKJoXv Ends 12/27 (Tweet up to 3 times a day, but at least 3 hours apart for each tweet.)--1 to 3 extra entries to leave in separate comments with proof.

Go to the Guess website and tell me what other fragrance you would love to try or something else you learned from their site in another comment--2 extra entries to leave in two separate comments

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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 United States.  No PO boxes only 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 December 27, 2013 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.