Saturday, May 31, 2014

Recipe: My Luscious Peanut Butter Bars Will Spoil You With How Yummy They Taste!

My Luscious Peanut Butter Bars.jpeg
My Luscious Peanut Butter Bars

It’s been a long week and you deserve a tasty reward for hanging in there without complaint. How does the thought of digging into a delicious peanut butter bar cookie with a topping of creamy peanut butter icing sound about now?  If this also sounds like your bit of heaven, then my Luscious Peanut Butter Bars are in order!

Besides being relatively easy to make, these rich little gems are moist and chewy and utterly addictive.  I do hope you try them soon because they are that scrumptious!                        
Although you can use either type of peanut butter, I prefer the crunchy variety for both the dough and icing in this recipe to add more texture. If that is not peanut-enough for you do feel free to add the optional one-fourth cup of peanuts.

I also like to use butter (not a margarine) for this for that extra influx of buttery flavor, which really comes out in these bars.

My Luscious Peanut Butter Bars

1 cup of firmly packed brown sugar (light or dark)
1 large egg
½ cup of crunchy peanut butter 
½ cup of butter 
1 teaspoon of baking soda, leveled
1-1/2 cups of flour
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup of quick oatmeal
1/4 cup of peanuts (optional)

Cream the sugar, peanut butter, and butter until well mixed before adding your egg.

Sift the flour with the baking soda, which you had leveled with your measuring spoon.
Slowly add the flour, oatmeal, salt, vanilla, and peanuts (optional) until those ingredients are mixed in.     
One Luscious Peanut Butter Bar.jpeg
One Luscious Peanut Butter Bar

Lightly grease a 10 x 16 x 1-inch pan and bake in a 375-degree oven for about 15 minutes or until nothing sticks when you insert a toothpick, cake tester, or slender knife into it.

Wait about five minutes before cutting the bars.  However, do not remove from the pan until they cool enough for the icing.

To Make the Icing:

1-1/2 cups of confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of crunchy peanut butter
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
3 tablespoons of milk

Cream the ingredients and then top over the cool bars.


Friday, May 30, 2014

Summer Beauty Must-Have! -- IT Cosmetics Celebration Foundation (Fair, Light Medium) 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 Celebration Foundation in Fair.jpeg
IT Cosmetics Celebration Foundation in Fair

Many of us have the same problem of falling between two shades of foundation.  Though I don’t have the fairest white skin like some natural born redheads, my complexion is the lightest beige.  Thus, finding the perfect shade can be tricky. However, I have some tips how to choose wisely when it comes to making a foundation selection.

Start with one of my favorite brands, IT Cosmetics.  Their Celebration Foundation can give skin fresh, radiant coverage that doesn’t weigh it down or settle into your lines due to their extraordinary anti-aging ingredients like hydrolyzed collagen, peptides, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, rose, silk, aloe and those drops of light technology for that overall illuminating effect.  

This is a lightweight, full-coverage mineral foundation ideally suited for the summer heat with how the formula allows skin to breathe instead of feeling heavy like some others you might have tried.  Another thing I love about it is how easy it is to take with you whether in your handbag or suitcase so you can touch up with a flip of that compact.

The Celebration Foundation in Fair is a pale beige as you can see from my photo.  This one is the closest to my skin tone and the best for me for how it matches face with the neck.

On the other hand, the Celebration Foundation in Light Medium is slightly darker with more warmth of an olive-tone. With the yellow in my skin, this gives me more color but doesn’t mesh with my neck as precisely as Fair.
IT Cosmetics Celebration Foundation (light-medium).jpeg
This is IT Cosmetics Celebration Foundation in Light/Medium

As to the problem on how to decide between two shades of foundation, I recommend going with the lighter choice when in doubt.  Those with oily complexions should pay particular attention if you have problems with your face turning orange or ashy gray from your current foundation formulation.  Keep this in mind especially in regard to liquid varieties, which can oxidize to cause that color change. 

If you’re searching for a fabulous foundation to keep you looking good this summer, you got to try IT Cosmetics Celebration Foundation ($35) because it can and will.   Buy online at  IT Cosmetics, Ulta Beauty,, QVC and and The Shopping Channel.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Review: New Hard Candy Cosmetics to Be on the Lookout for!

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

Six New Hard Candy Cosmetics.jpeg
Six new Hard Candy Cosmetics to check out.

Hard Candy Cosmetics has expanded their collection significantly with some new products that launched Spring 2014.  You will also notice new shades in some of the already established lines as well while a few such as Meteor-eyes and Kal-eye-descope have slimmed down. I was sent a varied assortment that I know you will want to hear about before you go shopping.

The new Cheeks & Balances ($7) was what caught my attention first. This is a cream blush stick in with a highlight on one side and the contour shade on the other that has a small wheel at the side to swivel it up. 

Sweet Cheeks (805) was a gorgeous shade of warm pink-peach made even better after I turned that square plastic container and blended in its shimmery, petal-pink side.  My cheeks glowed.  This square shape does make this creamy blush easier to contour and play up those cheekbones I learned the more you practice.  As to how long it wore, I would estimate about four or five hours before you might want to add more color.  Two other color options are available: Cheeky Pink (767) and Sun Kissed (768)

Next, I zoomed in on the pan of Single & Loving It ($3).   This is a single multicolor pan of eye shadow that comes in six colors in all.  Oink! (773) is a mix of soft warm pink, beige-tan, and an off-white. The pan is rather small to target each color and worked best for me by taking my brush and swirling the shades together.  The result was a beautiful way to open up the eyes with its shimmering luster of pale pink-beige. 

Ahead was one of the eleven Hard Candy’s Pop Art Nail Lacquers ($4). This takes glittery nails to bold new places with chunks of matte glitter to form intricate designs.  King of Pop (797) makes nails a work of art with shades of sky blue, peach, white, and navy for impact.

Though the Sheer Envy Primers ($8) have been out for a while, I had never gotten around to trying any yet until two of the new ones arrived.  Six makes up the line of these silicone-based primers.

The Dark Spot Correcting 752 has a pale green tint to help counteract any redness.  A little of this thick product is enough for smoothing out your complexion once you give it a few seconds to set.  I was surprised at how it seemed to brighten up my skin, including an emerging pimple that sought to ruin my day after applying my foundation and left me with a velvety finish.  

Having dry and not oily skin, I thought the Shine Free 806 Primer would be a problem.  To the contrary, this worked better than I expected for me.  Remember to use sparingly or it can tend to accumulate in any lines.  

A Take Me Out Liner ($4) was the last among my new Hard Candy beauty goodies.  There are 18 shades of these eyeliner pencils with built-in sharpeners in the cap.  I received one of the glittery choices in that lineup, Handcuffs (814), a metallic silver.  This liner was creamy for spreading without smearing and just what eyes need what you want to grab some night time attention.

What I like the most about Hard Candy Cosmetics is how easy it is to get the looks you’re after without dropping a wad of cash in the process.  If you haven’t tried any of these products yet, you will want to.  

For me, the next thing on my list is their Mod Squad Shadows.  However, there so many new temptations that it is hard to decide!  Do you also have that problem with the new products from Hard Candy Cosmetics?

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

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Now There’s No Excuse for Bad Hair! --Chroma Studio Hair Products Collection Has Arrived (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.**

Chrome Studio Hair Products
Chrome Studio Hair Products.

Great hair and good looks are a winning combination.  You can’t have one without the other unless you know where to turn. If you want fabulous hair that looks like you just stepped out of a salon, then you need professional products like the collection that I have been using lately from Chroma Studio.

With the great results this stylist had beautifying clients in Hollywood, California, a collection was in order to make those salon treatments available for the rest of us. The line intended to correct dehydrated, brittle hair consists of seven color-safe products: Aqua Shampoo ($25), Aqua Conditioner ($26), Volume Heat Protection ($24), Sculpt ($24), Sculpt and Tone ($26), Shine ($24), and Control Hair Spray ($24).

The Aqua Shampoo smells divine with a light perfume that has a hint of vanilla I believe.  Paraben free with UV protection and rich moisturizers, this formula lathers up well without having to pour much on.  

I followed up with the Aqua Conditioner. This is also a caring, but lightweight formula without sulfates or parabens that adds volume and helps fight frizz while it hydrates.  This product combats knots like a champ.

Next, I sprayed their Volume Heat Protection before I grabbed my blow dryer to safeguard vulnerable hair from heat damage. This product also helps give the hair some lift.

Sculpt and Tone is advertised as a soft hold styling cream with a toner to eliminate brassiness that later went on my slightly damp hair.  This tinted cream has a consistency more like a pliable putty for texture.  

Since I didn’t know how much I would need, I always like to start with a small amount to see how the product would handle my hair.  Let me tell you, readers, this stuff is one of the best hair products that I have ever used for the way it controlled the force of my down-growing, long sweep of bangs. There were no escapees of wispy bangs either. Furthermore, Sculpt and Tone didn’t leave my hair hard but touchable and soft with wonderful hold, not any wimpy, barely there control.  

I was feeling prettier even before I applied their olive oil-based shine spray, Shine, which gave me mirror-like gloss! You can also use this spray as a detangler.

I never heard of an adjustable hold hair spray, where by rotating the nozzle you can change your choice of soft, medium, or strong hold to match your style.  Their Control Hair Spray was a first.  It made sure my hair stayed in place the way I liked.

Sculpt is their soft hold styling cream, which I tried next time. I really loved how the Sculpt and Tone handled my bangs that I used that product for that area and went with the Sculpt for the rest of my hair.  My slightly layered cut allows me to either play up the waves of my natural curl or smooth it with products.  Sculpt gave a smoother curl with nice, moveable hold.

I highly recommend checking out Chroma Studio and their amazing hair products, especially Sculpt and Tone if you have problem hair that fights you at every turn like mine. Seriously, try the collection, view their video while you're there for benefits and pointers, and thank me later!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Hot Summer Lip Balm Pick--Korres Lip Butters (Mango, Quince, Jasmine) Review + 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.**

Starting on the left is Jasmine, Mango, and Quince on the right.

If you’re looking for a super-moisturizing tinted lip balm that won’t let you down when you need hours of lasting hydration, then I know just the thing to make your dry lips happy.  I suggest checking out Korres Lip Butters from Greece’s oldest homeopathic pharmacy.

With shea butter, natural oils and extracts, these little pots of lip butter really do soothe and soften lips incredibly well. They have a pleasant fruit smell and even taste a bit fruity of the ones I tried, especially yummy Mango

The color is fresh, sheer, and shiny with seven shades in all. Mango looks like an orange-yellow but appears with pink tones once on.  Quince is a pinker-plum color that can give your summer lips quite the edge. Jasmine is a soft nude-pink that would look great with a tan.

This product leaves your lips satisfied afterwards instead of desperately needing to reapply. At the same time, you get some color while caring for your lips with beneficial ingredients.  

Do visit Korres and check the Lip Butters ($12) out as well as their other products.  After this experience, this is exactly what I plan to do!    

This is Mango.
Take a look at Quince.

This one is Jasmine.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

A Great Concealing Trick to Brighten Eyes and Look More Rested!

Whenever your eyes could use some extra brightening power, I want to share a simple makeup trick to make you look like you had a few hours more sleep with the way it distracts the eye from that problem area.  

You won’t believe how much better that you’ll look by wearing highlighter along with that concealer.  Apply under eyes, near the top of your cheekbones and work your way over to the sides of your face. This one extra step will divert attention away from any remaining under eye darkness.

You could stop there, but I like drawing the eyes further to focus more on the upper-lip area. Try applying some of the highlighter in the two creases of your cheeks near your mouth and above your lip beneath your nose.  Blend into your foundation carefully. This takes a bit more time, but the results are worth it, especially for those days when your eyes could benefit from some perking up.

I hope you try this trick because it is a keeper as far as yours truly is concerned.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Spotlight on Nuts 4 Stuff Sponsor, Travel Sweepstakes Aficionado, Where You Can Win Your Dream Vacation!

*Disclaimer:  This is a sponsored post.*
Travel Sweepstakes Aficionado.jpeg
Travel Sweepstakes Aficionado

Entering sweepstakes is so much fun. Before I started my blog, I used to enter regularly and win fairly often. There are no car or trip wins yet that I can brag about, but I won a few large prizes and lots of small ones.  If you think entering sweepstakes is silly or a waste of time, then the better the odds for those of us that know differently.

Ordinary people like me win all the time. There is no secret strategy involved except entering as many sweepstakes as you can and being persistent. Allow yourself a set amount of time a day to do your sweepstakes and stick to it.

With all the countless sweepstakes available, it may be hard where to start.  My advice is deciding what you want to win most of all like cars or trips–and then concentrating your efforts on entering those sweepstakes.

What I didn’t know until learning about my new sponsor’s website, Travel Sweepstakes Aficionado, was that there was a specialized sweepstake site available where you enter strictly to win trips all in one place.  How great is that when you browse through destinations from around the globe or just look for ones like Beach Vacations in the United States and dream about where you want to vacation?

Finding dream vacations has never been easier because Travel Sweepstakes Aficionado has done the legwork for you, just search through categories like International Destinations, Trips to Australia, Trips to Europe, Trips to Asia, Trips to South America, Beach Vacations, and U.S. Destinations and browse tempting locales.

I compare sweeping to planting a garden because you never know what will sprout from your efforts.  So visit Travel Sweepstakes Aficionado and be sure to make it a bookmark because you will want to start entering all this sites fabulous getaways regularly and be on the prowl for all the new ones! 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Sally Hansen’s Complete Salon Manicure Shades Perfect for Flaunting Pretty Nails This Summer (Review) + 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.**

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Seven Shades and Base Coat.jpeg
Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Seven Shades and Base Coat

Recently, Sally Hansen expanded the Complete Salon Manicure line.  In the glorious bounty of colors from this exceptional performing nail polish are quite a few wonderful possibilities, including tempting new ones to set off a tan from gorgeous pale takes on pink, peach, and beige to lively bright colors of the rainbow like the ones I want to share with you.

824 Cur-Tan Call leaves just a blush of a peach tan on your nails, which would be striking with a suntan. However, natural girls would love how it gives your hands a clean, simple elegance in a formula that won’t let you down easily despite your daily chores and all you put your hands through.  This is more of a sheer color so I suggest two coats and the Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Base Coat, which is a must, especially whenever using extremely pale colors or if you have ridges like mine.

This is 824 Cur-Tan Call.
340 Sweet Talker is a delicate pink that is close in color to 220 Arm Candy, only this is a fragile peach tone to that tender pink.  Imagine how that paleness will compliment and contrast against burnished skin to make most of your nails.

821 Tutu Pretty is one of my new favorites with how this multicolored, light bronzed pink can shimmer with soft violet undertones. 

This is Tutu Pretty!
400 Get Juiced is a perky and bright peachy-pink.  This shade is one of those colors you find in all your flowered dresses, blouses, and summer skirts to accent them nicely.

Here I modeled 400 Get Juiced.
380 Peach of Cake is a ripe shade of medium peach.  

430 Rosy Outlook is a medium pink-violet that looks lovely with the way it makes drab nails bloom with color. 

These nail polish colors are just the beginning of what other stunning possibilities await.  I just know I love the ease of application, the added strength it gives my nails, and how long Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure line can survive without chipping!  

Have you tried the Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure line yet and checked out the new shades?  Do pick these up before you go on vacation this summer. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Crabtree & Evelyn’s Pear and Pink Magnolia Eau de Toilette & Hand Therapy (Review) + Hand Therapy Giveaway! –Ends June 8, 2014

**Disclaimer:  This post has been compensated through a free product (s) or monetary payment.  Opinions are solely mine. All links are "no-follow" links.**
Crabtree & Evelyns Pear and Pink Magnolia Eau de Toilette and Hand Therapy.jpeg
Crabtree & Evelyns Pear and Pink Magnolia Eau de Toilette and Hand Therapy

As the temperatures heat up, summer is the time you want to wear lighter scents that will better work with your body’s chemistry over heavier ones.  There are so many new fragrances popping up that you may be overwhelmed. However, this perfumista has been hard at work finding the best new summer fragrances that are not to be missed like Crabtree & Evelyn’s newly launched Pear and Pink Magnolia Eau de Toilette, fresh and sensual, this fruity-floral is what dreams are made of!

This heavenly blend opens with an airy freshness from juicy red pear, passion fruit, and bergamot against creamy lemon. You would assume by this lovely layering of such soft and delicate notes that it would be the scent the angels might wear.   

As the heart emerges, enchantment awaits the wearer as the notes of jasmine and apricot-scented osmanthus surface. When the fragrance shows its romantic side, it becomes so irresistible that it will sweep you off your feet with how elegantly this composition comes together to make you feel beautiful.

As Pear and Pink Magnolia further warms and finally dries down, the fragrance reveals its tender sensual core due to the violet tones of orris in the musky base that will bewitch you and ignite hidden passion.

To give you angelic hands, I recommend the Pear and Pink Magnolia Hand Therapy to keep them smooth with shea butter, macademia nut oil, and even myrrh to condition nails and cuticles.  I love how that sweet scent lingers even after washing.

Sweetly addictive, I guarantee that you will want the entire Crabtree & Evelyn Pear and Pink Magnolia Bath & Body Collection once you experience it. The products include Eau de Toilette, Body Lotion, Body Wash, Body Souffle, Soap, and Hand Therapy.  Do pick up these products because they are a fantastic summer fragrance choice!

Thanks to Crabtree & Evelyn, one lucky Nuts 4 Stuff reader in the United States wins a 100ml tube of Pear and Pink Magnolia Hand Therapy ($20 value)!

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

Mandatory to Enter:

You must follow me on Google Friends Connect before any of your entries will count. Even if you already follow 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  #Win #Pear&PinkMagnolia #HandTherapy @CrabtreeEvelyn ($20) #Giveaway   @Nuts4Stuff 06/08 (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.

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List this giveaway on any giveaway site or sites just leave a link to this post wherever you share it--5 extra entries (Get five extra entries for listing this giveaway on one giveaway site with a link to show proof of the site where that giveaway is listed in one of them).

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Enter the IT Cosmetics IT-02 Ultra Repair Foundation Giveaway--1 extra entry (leave one comment)

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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 just USA-based street addresses.

***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 June 8, 2014 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.  

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Newly Launched L’Occitane en Provence’s Exotic Au Brésil Collection Will Loose You to Its Wild Splendor! (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 Vitoria Regia Day Flower Body Lotion.jpeg
L'Occitane's Vitoria Regia Day Flower Body Lotion

L’Occitane en Provence heats up your summer with the launch of their new Au Brésil Collection that just hit stores May 2014.  Since most of us won’t be traveling to the Amazon any time soon, Olivier Baussan has done it for us and recreated three exquisite lines:  Vitória Régia Day Flower, Vitória Régia Night Flower, and Jenipapo that capture the breathtaking exotic splendor of that country through this unique fragrance, sun care, and body products collection, which are ideally suited for summer!

Vitória Régia is a floral-aquatic fragrance that floats with leisurely grace and centers around an Amazonian water lily, which only blooms at night, releasing a perfume so sweet that other flowers would be jealous by such magnificence–and then in a few days it dies.   This precious Victoria Amazonica flower and its blooming cycle is the inspiration behind Vitória Régia Day Flower and the Vitória Régia Night Flower lines.

The Vitória Régia Day Flower Body Lotion that I received is delightfully soft, but fresh as this silky scented emulsion washes over you with its tropical floral magic that also includes the gardenia, the lily of the valley, and Victoria Amazonica in this very feminine fragrance.  The fluid movement of those flowers against the water is soothing and gentile as it develops and lingers with heliotrope, musk, and haunting amber.

L'Occitane's Vitoria Regia Night Flower Eau de Cologne.jpeg
L'Occitane's Vitoria Regia Night Flower Eau de Cologne

Just as enticing and softly fresh is Vitória Régia Night Flower Eau de Cologne that will slowly seduce with the magnetic hold this fragrance can exert.  The notes of lime against water hyacinth and Victoria Amazonica lift the freshness of those flowers before plunging you into happy oblivion once the peony emerges.  This fragrance is so romantic and sensual with how those notes tease each other, more so when the musk and sandalwood surface in the base.

Jenipapo is bursting with brightness and energy, almost like Baussan brought back the huge sun itself and found a way to extract it along with that fruit from this Brazilian tree for this line of fragrance, sun care and body products.

Let me fill you in on the fruity-floral fragrance of Jenipapo Oil Roll-On because there is nothing like it because it is almost powered up with how that green and fruity-floral smelling fruit charge up this scent.  Notes of watermelon, pino colada and citrus ground it and keep that intense heat from flaming out of control.

The Au Brésil Collection is not to be missed.  Whatever form from eau de cologne, body lotion, shower gel, soap, to sun care products that you prefer, indulge your spirit and loose yourself in that wild Amazon as I have done because it is sensational place to be for the summer!  

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmers (Rhubarb, Watermelon, Fig, Cherry) 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.**

Starting on the left is Cherry, then Fig, Rhubarb, and ending with Watermelon on the right.

What I love about Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmers is the fact you get a treatment and sheer color in one tube that soothes with shea butter and fruit oils while it invigorates with peppermint. At the same time, it dresses your lips with its beautiful shades of color like the four that I got for this review.

Rhubarb will give your lips a lovely glow of cranberry-red. Watermelon is a lively medium pink-violet.  Fig is a gorgeous reddish-brown. Cherry is a licorice shade of red with berries.

There are fifteen luminescent colors to choose from in all. Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmers retail for $5.00.  

If you haven’t tried any of these yet, do pick a few up because you will like what this product does for your lips! 

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

Monday, May 19, 2014

April 2014 Cocotique Beauty Box 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.**

April 2014 Cocotique Beauty Box
April 2014 Cocotique Beauty Box

I want to bring to your attention a fabulous beauty subscription service that definitely needs to be on your radar. The products from Cocotique are best suited for women of color and diverse ethnicities, but when I tell you what you might expect and show you their deluxe box of five to six full and sample sizes for $20 a month, I am sure all of you will want to sign up. 

As soon as your box arrives, you will feel like you are unwrapping a gift inside instead of an item you ordered.  The presentation couldn’t have been more beautiful with a separate box within a box to tenderly cradle the precious contents that were behind the sealed gold wrapping paper. Already you will feel pampered as I did when I broke that seal behind those enticing fragrant products that smelled so incredible escaping through that paper.

The April selection drew inspiration from the sexy ladies from the OWN Network show of Love in the City to help you capture that same feeling as you awaken your senses like the diva you are.

Take a look at the April 2014 Cocotique Beauty Box (which you can still purchase):

Specific Beauty Professional Moisture ComplexFull Size (2 fl. oz.)–$19.99 

Shea Moisture Tahitian Noni & Monoi Smooth & Repair and Scalp Weekly TherapyFull Size (4 fl. oz.)–$10

Nubian Heritage Honey & Black Seed Hand CreamFull Size (4 fl. oz.)–$8.99 

Naturalicious Moroccan Rhassoul 5-in-1 Clay TreatmentSample Packet with no specified size (Full Size is $19 for 12 oz.)

Su-Kari Mango Coconut Body ButterSample 2-oz. Jar ($4.50)–(Full Size is $17.99 for 8 oz.)

Jones and Rose Sexy Body Butter--Sample Size–(Full Size is $15 for 4 oz.)

Karen’s Body Beautiful Sweet Ambrosia Leave-In Conditioner –Generous 1.75 oz. Sample ($3.15 value)--(Full Size is $16 for 8.5 oz.)

The total came to $46.63 plus, which I think is a bargain.  I didn’t add the two samples without sizes into the calculation so this would amount to more.

The Specific Beauty Moisture Complex is plant based to mimic your skin’s own lipids to lock in moisture and is free of parabens.

The Shea Moisture Therapy smells so delectable with its coconut aroma for keeping hair shiny and conditioned.  

The Nubian Hand Cream is so wildly delicious smelling that its fragrance comes through the tube.  This is a very rich and all-natural formula fortified with vitamins, vegetable butters and healing oils that my dry hands appreciated.

Su-Kari Body Butter is another creamy and tropical fragrant hit with me for what it does to smooth dry skin with organic African shea butter, mango butter, coconut and jojoba oils, and vitamin E.

The Naturalicious Clay Treatment will detoxify while it cleans and conditions your hair.

The Jones and Rose Body Butter is yet another scented sensation that will leave you delectable while its cocoa and shea butters, apricot and olive oils soften your skin nicely.

Karen’s Body Beautiful Leave-In Conditioner is an award-winning one to help get shiny, sexy hair.

Do yourself a favor and check out Cocotique.  The company offers discount deals if you buy three months at once ($58); a six-month sign up would be ($112); and a year of Cocotique boxes would run $220.  

They even have a magazine to help give you beauty ideas and this month's Cocotique's Passport to Beauty besides a shop to buy favorites from their Beauty Boxes. So what are you waiting for? 

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

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Recipe: My Petite Coconut Layer Cake Couldn’t Be Easier Or More Delectable

My Petite Coconut Layer Cake 

Today, I wanted to share my delicious, little coconut cake recipe.  I love so many things about this particular recipe that is overwhelming with its decadent coconut.  Where do I start? It’s simple, incredibly moist, and quick to make for one. The fact that you can use oil and save yourself the hassle of creaming is another reason.  What else that is so incredible about this recipe is that its uses only one cup of sugar!

Yet, the fact this makes a smaller cake because there’s less batter to build up each layer’s height like a typical layer cake, excites me as well when it comes to controlling one’s urge to overindulge when near this tasty temptation.  Shorter layers also means it does cool quicker than normal layers, which makes for speeding up frosting time.

You can also use margarine, butter, or shortening in place of the oil.  This will require slightly more work creaming, but the texture of the crumb will be finer than with oil.  I usually stick with the lazy’s girl way with oil because it doesn’t improve the flavor–only the appearance.

Frost with your favorite icing and you can have this cake ready before you know it.  I do hope you try it because if you are a fan of the coconut, then this is the perfect recipe for you.

My Petite Coconut Layer Cake

1-1/2 cups of flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
½ teaspoon of salt
½ cup of canola or corn oil
1 cup of sugar
2 eggs
2/3 cup of milk
2 teaspoons of vanilla
2/3 cup of coconut

Sift all the dry ingredients together in your mixing bowl.

Add the wet ingredients next and beat with an electric mixer to combine.  You can also use a whisk.

Stir in the coconut last to mix through.

Pour into two greased and floured eight-inch layer pans.

Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 25-30 minutes, depending on how your oven is regulated.  

Test with a toothpick, slender knife, or cake tester to see if anything sticks telling if it is done.

Cool and then frost.


Friday, May 16, 2014

Dermatologist Recommended Ways to Save Your Complexion From Aging

This beauty doesn't take her complexion for granted and strives to keep it young.

Regardless of expensive skin care products or living a healthy lifestyle, time does eventually catch up with us.  Instead of starting to save for plastic surgery or botox injections to introduce a toxic substance into your body, there are some simple things that you can do now to stay younger longer.

Sunscreen and Sunglasses Help Against Cumulative Sun Damage 

The earlier you start using a sunscreen every time you hit the outdoors, the less cumulative damage you’ll have from the sun.  Don’t be lazy and skip the sunscreen because you are just stepping out briefly. This bit of neglect does accumulate so be cautious and keep the sunscreen in plain view along with your beauty products that you use daily.

Keep in mind that all sunscreens are not created equally. Look for ones that have antioxidants among the ingredients like vitamins C, E, green tea, acai, blueberries, pomegranate, and coffeeberry to boost its effectiveness.

Another suggestion is layering your antioxidant serum under your favorite sunscreen as well. This practice betters your odds of turning a good sunscreen into a super one.

Sunglasses are not just for fashion, but important from keeping wrinkles away because without them, you can squint. Consider a pair with a dark tint with 99 percent UVA and UVB protection.

Exfoliation Can Encourage Skin Renewal  

Exfoliating your complexion once or twice weekly sloughs off dead cells and paves the way for new skin to replace it. However, excessive use of chemical exfoliants like your favorite fruit acid peels can backfire.  You can seriously burn or even scar your skin before you know it just with your cotton ball.  Also, overdoing with those at home chemical peels can increase your skin’s sensitivity to UV rays according to the FDA.

Healthy Foods Can Fight Cellular Aging

Your skin is a living organism that needs healthy foods to keep it thriving. Too much sugar, salt, alcohol, and cigarettes in your daily diet deprive your complexion of the essential nutrients it needs to preserve that youthful look and speeds up cellular aging and wrinkles.

Try eating more Omega-3 fatty acids such as almonds, walnuts, and salmon because these fight inflammation that lead to wrinkling.  To stimulate your body to produce more collagen, you need to add more servings of citrus fruits and dark, and leafy green vegetables like spinach into your daily diet.  Foods such as tomatoes and pink grapefruits can help protect your skin from sun damage due to their lycopene content. 

Limiting Stress Helps Keep a Youthful Complexion
Chronic stress, crying, or bouts of anger can ruin a pretty face starting from within your body to the new creases you create in the process.  Frown and knit your brows or glare in front of a mirror.  Those lines you see, if done repeatedly, will deepen to age.  Instead, learn to relax in whatever way works for you.  

Practice taking in several deep breathes and slowing releasing.  Now close your eyes and try tuning out thoughts and sounds.  Think of your happiest memory next.  Where were you? Who were you with?  What were you doing?  Can you see yourself?  What are you wearing? What you want to do is relive that joyous experience in your mind’s eye so those happier emotions can replace the stress.  This exercise may seem silly, but it does wonders to change your mood.

Getting Enough Sleep and the Right Position Can Help  Skin From Aging
How you sleep is also important in how well you will age. Sleeping on your back is the best defense to preserve a youthful face.  However, if you are a side sleeper, then try sleeping on a satin pillow so your face glides against the fabric instead of tugging.

Do try these skin-saving tips and start to fight aging before it creeps up on you!