Thursday, December 31, 2015

DIY Beauty Recipe: A Super Nail Conditioner That You Are Going to Love!

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Beautiful nails don't just happen. At times, you need to give them a hand to keep them thriving.

With all the abuse we put our nails through during normal activities, not to mention manicure products, it is no wonder that they can dry and become brittle.  If you’re looking to keep your nails healthy, then it is important to keep them regularly conditioned. 

The recipe that I want to share with you came to me from an excited friend that said I had to try this because it was the best thing she ever did for her nails.  Let me tell you that once I mixed up a batch and starting using, I also thought it was awesome for helping suffering nails. 

I do hope that you give it a shot because you really will be surprised at the way your nails will respond.

Homemade Super Nail Conditioner 

3/4 tablespoon of argan oil
3/4 tablespoon of grape seed oil
½ teaspoon of almond oil
½ teaspoon of olive oil
½ tablespoon of lemon juice
½ tablespoon of honey
1 drop of geranium essential oil

Mix together and keep in a clean, small bottle and store in your refrigerator.  

Apply to the nails with a cotton ball.  Then be sure to rub this oil mix in your nails well.  Use as often as you want.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

What You Don’t Know About Eye Creams, Eye Gels and Eye Serums That Could Hurt You

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Your eyes can be your most beautiful feature so keep them healthy if you want them to stay that way.

Keeping the eye area properly moisturized is essential.  However, you must always use only skin care products designed for that purpose if you want your eyes to stay healthy.  The only exception to use a rich face cream or lotion is if it is labeled ophthalmologist-tested and safe for the eye area. Otherwise, stick to eye creams, eye gels and eye serums to avoid potential trouble. 

Think of where you place your eye cream or serum.  Do you apply just under the eye or, perhaps, the entire eye?  If you have been moisturizing the whole eye area, including the eyelid itself you need to stop immediately.  Since the skin of the eye in this area is so thin, the ingredients in that cream can seep through to your eyeball!  Please remember that eye creams and serums should only be applied to specific areas of the eye.

Make it a habit to use such eye products just below the brow and under the eye just not so far to the corner that any of the product could block your tear duct.  This could lead to an eye infection, puffy eyes, under eye bags, and a gamut of problems that would require you to seek medical attention and have that tear duct drained.

The next time that you’re shopping for new eye creams, gels and serums, there are some things that you might want to think about.  Fragrances are beautiful to inhale, but they should be avoided in skin care products for the eyes since they have the potential to irritate the skin and cause swelling.  

Thick, heavy formulations of eye creams might not be the best idea either, but especially for those with those white little bumps known as milia under the eyes because it can aggravate and make the problem worse.  A thinner eye cream or serum also means less tugging on the delicate skin as well as better absorption than some thick formula that just seems to sit on the surface.

Your eyes are very important so keep a check on what products you use.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Why You Shouldn’t Take Dry Skin Lightly!

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Those with very dry skin may need to make a few changes in your normal cleansing routine to avoid future problems.

Depending on how severe your dry skin is, you might be able to miss moisturizing on occasion. The worst that can happen is the skin will feel tight and uncomfortable. However, if you have a problem with extremely dry skin or eczema on a regular basis, you can’t afford ever to neglect it.  The price you can pay far exceeds mere discomfort.  Instead, you could be risking skin infections because the normal barrier of oil protection against bacteria and viruses has been compromised.  

What you are doing is only making the skin itch. Of course, you will scratch because of the annoying itch, which can get intense.  For a fleeting moment, you might get some relief but only temporarily.  Besides possibly damaging the skin by digging into it, the tearing, even however slight, is enough to open the surface for viruses and bacteria to get in.

There are many causes of very dry skin or eczema such as heredity for one, but you can also be indirectly responsible. Taking too hot or long of a shower or bath is far from healthy for your skin, especially if you already are prone to dryness.  

Another thing that you may be doing wrong is using too heavily scented soaps, bath gels or body washes. Very strong fragrances in such products have a tendency to be harsh and quite drying for the skin.  

Though you want to stay clean and fresh, you might want to switch from using deodorant soaps, especially if they’re labeled antibacterial.  If you’re unsure, look for ingredients like triclosan or triclocarbon that are commonly found in deodorants.  Their purpose is to inhibit bacteria from growing on your skin.  Yet, there have been studies that have proven that such antibacterial soaps do not work any better than regular soaps in controlling bacteria.  In one study, only after nine hours of initially cleansing was the bacteria fighting action associated with triclosan more effective than regular soap.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, long-term usage of such antibacterial soaps can lead to bacterial resistance to antibiotics and also may have hormonal effects.  Therefore, you are safest sticking to a regular soap for your dry skin as well as overall health.  

Something else you may want to change is the time when you moisturize after stepping out of that shower or tub.  Within minutes after emerging, the moist skin is receptive to help the product best trap in the water so this is the best time to do it.

Look for moisturizing lotions that have humectants like hyaluronic acid and glycerin to attract water from the top layer of the skin, the dermis, to the deeper epidermis below.  Lipids, such as ceramides to nourish and support the structure of the skin to keep it soft and supple are also important ingredients to scan for when shopping for lotions.  Also, search the label for emollients like shea butter or propylene glycol to lubricate. 

You may be tempted to resort to occlusive moisturizers (heavier formulations with ingredients such as beeswax, mineral oils or petrolatum) since they help prevent moisture loss by sealing in hydration. Nonetheless, they are thicker and might leave you feeling greasy so do keep that in mind when making your selection for this problem.  

All I’m saying is that you should take very dry skin seriously and take care of it now before it has a chance to become a problem.  After all, you don’t want to pay for that neglect later with needless suffering.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Laura Geller Delectables Cool Eye Shadow Palette 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.**
Laura Geller Delectables Cool Eye Shadow Palette.jpeg
Laura Geller Delectables Cool Eye Shadow Palette 

Those that plan to roll in the New Year right with extra glam for the round of parties that I’m sure you’ll be attending know the importance of playing up their eyes. If you’re looking for some phenomenal color inspiration to be creative with gleaming metallic and matte shades, then you want to take a close look at Laura Geller’s Delectables Cool Eye Shadow Palette ($45) that PR kindly sent because this is what you need if you intend to stand out in a crowd.

There are two versions of these 14 doomed baked eye shadows with a Cool and Nude palette.  However, I couldn’t be more pleased with this more colorful choice for giving eyes vibrant jewel-like impact whether with sheen or matte finish.  

Here are the colors that await in this gorgeous set.  

Marble (ivory)
Slate (neutral beige)
Smoke (gray-brown with shimmer)
Frosting (golden brown with a shimmer)
Graphite (icy silver with a shimmer)
Midnight (black with a shimmer)
Blueberry (deep navy with a  shimmer)
Macaron (cream nude with a shimmer)
Candy (warm pink with a shimmer)
Bronze (espresso infused with gold)
Lilac (pink-plum with a shimmer)
Amethyst (violet with pearl)
Plum (blackened purple)
Carbon (rich black)

The texture of these shadows is silky soft that it is almost creamy when you brush the pigment on. Though as much as I love this baked formula, the double-sided brush included for application was less than ideal. 

The easiest way to catch the eye shadow with this brush is brushing gently back and forth instead of swirling.  You can always add more, but this technique works if you plan to stick with that brush or control the amount of pigment you lay down.   Another option is to simply pull out your other eye shadow brushes as well as your eye liner brush and take it from there because you can do both with this one palette.  

Using these shadows dry will provide more of a sheer look.  I also found that if you want your eyes to rock with strong color, then prime them first is the way to go.  Of course, you can deepen with water, but primer will extend the longevity of these shadows so you can stay beautiful all through the night.

After sampling this Laura Geller Delectable Eye Shadow Palette, I got to have the Nudes version.  What about you, have you tried these palettes yet?  Find them at Laura Geller, ULTA Beauty or, but do find them!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

How to Best Change the Appearance of Your Skin When Using Anti-Aging Skin Care That Can Irritate

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This beauty can smile because knows how the importance of how to properly care for her perfect complexion regardless of the season. 

To improve the condition of our skin, we have come to rely on products with anti-aging ingredients like retinol or alpha-hydroxy acids for what they can do to change the appearance of our complexions.  Though effective, you can also run into complexion problems if used in the wrong way since these same ingredients can be irritating.

Try to remember that you can’t rush beautiful skin.  Being overzealous applying such anti-aging skin care products too often or too heavily can backfire on your efforts.  You can burn your skin and land up with a red face, maybe swollen eyes or just peel too much.  Most of us simply squeeze or dig our finger into the jar and apply without thinking, which is a mistake.  If you have been in the habit of using more than a pea size amount of a product, then you are overdoing it.  Instead, what you’re doing is risking your skin to damage and wasting money since the product is meant to last longer.

Do follow the directions of that came with that anti-aging product on whether it is once or twice daily of an application. By taking a minute to read the manufacturer’s instructions can save your skin from potential risk.

Something you may not be aware of is that retinol and AHA products have a tendency to accumulate in those creases near the nostrils.  Ask yourself how many times have you had extra redness or peeling of those laugh lines. If you experienced this like I have, there is a simple fix that my dermatologist recommended for avoiding this problem.  His advice to keep the product from settling too heavily in those spots was to slightly stretch the skin in that nostril area when dabbing it on will help.

On the same note, you need to be careful when using this type of product near the mouth.  The corners of your mouth are ideal spots where those products can also accumulate in the crevices so avoid getting too close when applying there as well. 

Sometimes, it is not the product but how it is used that can really make a big difference in the results you see when you look in the mirror!  

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Recipe: My Orange Scones Are a Special Breakfast Treat You Might Want to Make Over the Holidays!

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My Orange Scones are extra special.

Today, I have a really easy recipe that always is nice to serve over the holidays with breakfast, especially if you have out-of-town guests staying with you.  The fragrant smell alone of orange and spice with golden raisins baking will fill your home with such a delicious aroma your family or friends will love that will call them to the table.  Though as pretty as they are with their sugar-orange topping, these scones taste even better.

Instead of the typical bread-like consistency that is characteristic of most scones, my recipe has a flakier texture due to adding some cornstarch along with a vivid orange enhanced flavor from incorporating grated orange rind and juice into the batter along with nutmeg, vanilla and golden raisins. 

The hardest step will be grating the rind from two oranges.  Again, no creaming is involved since these scones use oil.  After that you will be just mixing the ingredients together and then waiting as patiently as you can for them to come out of the oven.  

A time saving tip once you pour your oil into your mixing bowl to save you from greasing the baking sheet is to turn your measuring cup upside down on your cookie sheet.  Give it a few seconds and you’ll have enough oil to lube that pan.

I even have another trick to save you extra clean up work when doing the sugar-orange topping.  Use your zester over a cookie sheet while you grate.  When I finish all that is left to do is dumping the sugar for topping, mix, and then transfer the mixed dough to the sheet and pat into the prepared topping.  Turn the dough over if you miss spots.

Do try my recipe because these scones really are incredibly good.

My Orange Scones

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My Orange Scones are flaky and packed with orange flavor!

2-1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup of cornstarch
1/4 cup of sugar
2 teaspoons of baking powder, leveled
1/4 teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of nutmeg
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 teaspoon of grated orange rind + 2 tablespoons of rind (for the topping) from two grated oranges
2 large eggs
1/3 cup of orange juice

Sugar-Orange Topping:

1/4 cup of sugar
2 tablespoons of orange rind

To Prepare the Dough:

Sift together the flour, cornstarch, leveled baking powder, salt, and sugar in your mixing bowl.

Grate two oranges in a baking pan or a plate and set aside.

Add the one teaspoon of orange rind, the orange juice, eggs, oil, nutmeg, and vanilla until all the ingredients are mixed together.  Try not to overwork the dough. 

Transfer the dough to the pan or plate that has that  extra one-fourth cup of sugar and remaining orange rind that you grated and mixed together.  Pat your dough into a round shape, if it feels a bit sticky just have some flour nearby and pat your hands into it as you work pressing that dough.  Turn the freshly topped dough over if you need to use the rest of your sugar-orange topping.

Cut your round into eight pieces before turning out onto that greased cookie sheet.

Bake in a 400-degree oven for about 12-15 minutes, depending how your oven is regulated.  It should be lightly golden.  Insert a toothpick or slender knife to test if done.

Allow to cool in the pan for a few minutes first before removing.  

These are best served warm.


Thursday, December 24, 2015

True Holiday Spirit Comes in Unexpected Ways

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The holiday spirit can surprise you in how it can be delivered.

The true spirit of the holidays was never so apparent as it was for me recently when I received a surprise gift of a beautiful calender and pen from Reviva Labs along with an insightful poem from the company’s founder, Mr. Strassler himself, just a week before Christmas. The words that poem he carefully selected and his personal message came just in time to lift my spirits after an upsetting thing happened that accidentally caused me to scald myself with a full cup of hot chocolate just a few days before.

I don’t know how my sleeve got in the way of my cup, but strange things do happen when you least expect it and the hot chocolate fell completely into my lap, scalding me between the legs.  If this happens to you, immediately have someone pour a pitcher of cold water on you first before attempting to strip.  However, I was in shock since my jogging pants absorbed the hot beverage like a sponge and just hurried to peel them off as fast as I could.

The pain was intense because the skin between your legs is rather delicate.  Anyway, I kept splashing my burns with cold water trying to cool the skin down before remembering I had aloe vera gel in the house. Desperate to try anything to ease my suffering quickly, I hurried and squeezed out big globs of it over my wounds.  This really helped reduce some of the initial redness and a bit of the stinging with it while I waited for pain relievers to kick in.

I was in no condition to drive myself to any doctor’s office or emergency room.  Even if I had a way to get there, I couldn’t get dressed and have material near my skin.  What I did land up doing was applying antibiotic ointment with gauze pads and medical tape to my wounds, which developed huge blisters.  

I also had to learn to sleep on my back with my legs apart just so they would not touch to cause more pain.  

I was unable to wear normal clothes.  Instead, I had to do my work wearing nightgowns as I wrote. Spending all day dressed in soft flannel gowns might be less restricting, but it can be cold in the Winter with all that air up your legs.  I compensated for that with heavy robes so I looked like a green bear with knee socks to keep my calves warmer.

To make it even worse, I had a filling a few days earlier before this happened that needed adjusting since it was causing pain in the muscles, being too high.  I was lucky that my mother wore a larger size so I could borrow her baggy pants so my guy could drive me to the dentist to take care of my problem. 

Fortunately for me, my dentist works Saturdays and has a wonderful receptionist that fit me in and didn’t keep me waiting once I arrived in this filled room.  To hold my taped gauze in place, I had an elastic bandage on as well, hoping it would provide more protection against the fabric as I walked.

The elastic bandage was a mistake.  It started to become loose as I walked oddly, trying to keep it up the best I could, wearing huge pants.   I must have looked like a drunken cowboy from the way I swayed back and forth, which was too bad because my mouth also hurt and I needed that filling fixed.   Thankfully, my filling was taken care of and one pain was soon gone so I could rush back home and return to my nightgown.

Trying to write and stay focused when you’re in pain was difficult, especially when you’re wearing nightgowns for over a week and even now as I type this is not fun.

And yet, the thought of the beautiful spirit of Ann from Reviva Labs and Mr. Strassler with that gift cheered me up more than you could possibly know.  Once I thanked them and explained how much it helped me through this hot chocolate ordeal, they went a step further.

A few days later, I received another gift from Reviva Labs.  Mr. Strassler sent me, a virtual stranger, a bottle of their Willard Water Anti-Irritant Gel with hopes to bring me relief.  Can you imagine how much that gift touched me?  If only the world had more such compassionate people in it like Ann and Mr. Strassler and the way they thought of me, it would be a much better place to be than its current sad state.

Their aloe vera gel is discontinued and I hope Mr. Strassler changes his mind about that because it does help burns. Most people probably think they have time to run out and buy something when the unexpected burn happens.  Trust me, this is not always the case and a product like their Willard Water Anti-Irritant Gel should be in everyone’s home because I know my pain would have been so much worse without aloe vera gel.

Whatever your religion, I wish you and your family peace and love with all sincerity that those feelings spread and replace all the hatred that seems to be in our world. Miracles can happen at any time, why not start today with each of us?  Who knows what we could accomplish if we only tried to show each other more compassion and understanding? 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A Fool-Proof Way to Better Determine Your Right Shade of Foundation

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This beauty knows the secret of a perfectly matched complexion.

Foundation can be a tricky cosmetic to buy when shopping in person and even harder online when you only have screen shots instead of the actual product to evaluate.  Some people feel trying a few shades of the foundation on their face in a few stripes before gently blending in is the best way to find your closest match. However, they would be mistaken since the face is usually darker than your neck that has paler skin.  

Ask yourself how many times have you seen women on television with browner faces against white necks. Unless you want to look as if your face is one color and your neck another, then I have a helpful tip you need to try.

When sampling foundations, I suggest comparing a few shades on your neck just below your chin.  This area is where your skin is the lightest and free from sun exposure.  After all, your goal is to get your face and neck the same continuous color—not mix-matched.  Therefore, by aiming for a foundation color to match the lightest skin you have will give you the best results for the most natural look possible!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

One Herb That Can Help Keep You Sane Through All the Holiday Chaos

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Lavender can be your best friend for both the mind and body.

Probably about now you might be doing some last minute shopping, baking, cleaning or still wrapping gifts as you prepare for the holidays.  Perhaps, you’re even having out-of-town family and friends on their way to stay with you.  As much as you look forward to all that celebrating ahead, you also might find all the activities and rushing to get everything done on time can leave you extra tired and stressed.  You may think there is nothing much you can do, but there is something that helps restore your mood and body--lavender.

The lavender that I am referring to is not an artificial lavender aroma from a pretty scent, but the power of the real herb.  There are quite a few proven studies on the effects of lavender on the nervous system for calming, improving concentration, brightening your outlook to relaxing you enough to bring on sleep.  

Of course, you might be tempted just to burn a natural lavender aromatherapy candle that is made from its essential oil.  Though helpful, if you want to get all you can from lavender then you are better served using lavender essential oil and applying it to your wrist.  

Unlike many essential oils that need to be diluted first with a carrier oil, this is safe to apply directly to your skin.  Direct skin contact of lavender essential oil has also been shown substantially reduce blood pressure, the heart rate and its temperature.

So before you get tied up in knots this holiday season, think of yourself and those you love by looking into buying some lavender essential oil for your total well-being.     

Monday, December 21, 2015

Flower by Drew Barrymore Eau de Parfum Rollerball Trio Gift Set 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.**

Flower by Drew Barrymore Eau de Parfum Rollerball Trio Gift Set.jpeg
Flower by Drew Barrymore Eau de Parfum Rollerball Trio Gift Set 

Those perfumistas on your holiday gift list would no doubt be pleased with some Flower power such as what I discovered when exploring this enchanting fragrance trio that recently arrived at my door.  Drew Barrymore’s Flower Love the Way You Feel trio of Eau de Parfum Rollerball Set features fresh to spicy floral notes in each of these romantic scents of Cherished, Radiant and Sultry

Cherished is a very feminine and graceful floral in the soft approach this fragrance takes.  The scent opens brightly with chords of morning dew, cassis and Italian lemon like an ode to the perfect Summer morning after a long Winter’s nap.  It is a fresh, innocent awakening in how those notes play off of each other. As the floral notes of iris petals, cabbage rose and lily of the valley warm in the heart, you are immediately taken in by the beauty of this fragrance that wants to romantically sweep you away with its hidden promises.  By the time it dries down in the base with Tahitian vanilla, cotton-musk and sandalwood, it becomes creamy and softly seductive.  The result is a powdery, intriguing floral that is quite alluring. 

Radiant is a light burst of fresh floral with woodsy notes that can fill your heart with joy.  The fragrance opens with sparkling notes of dewy greens against crisper, watery notes of calone and Italian bergamot. As it further develops in the heart with the notes of cabbage rose, pink peony and magnolia, the floral becomes sharper, almost frosted over with ice by the calone. Then it slowly melts in the base with crystal musk, pink amber and white wood to do the job.  At this stage, the notes smoke deliciously together, adding both velvety warmth and a hint mystery to this memorable bouquet.

The last is Sultry, a fruity-floral mix brimming with berries, woods and bit of spice and vanilla to give it a magnetic hold over the senses.  With top notes of plum, pink pepper and cranberry, there is a sweet excitement that seems to shake the blend to life. From how this fragrance warms in the heart with notes of night-blooming jasmine, cashmeran and blackberry, it becomes wickedly enticing. Yet as it dries down in the base with notes of Madagascar vanilla, musk and heady patchouli, this fragrance is haunting and sexy appeal.

Take it from Mary, do look into these fragrances because they really will surprise you in their complexity. You can find all three of these Flower fragrances are Walmart or learn more at Flower Beauty.  

Sunday, December 20, 2015

June Jacobs Spa Collection Sparkling Citrus Body Care Essentials 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.**

June Jacobs Spa Collection Sparkling Citrus Body Care Essentials box.jpeg
June Jacobs Spa Collection Sparkling Citrus Body Care Essentials ($49)

For all the last-minute holiday shoppers out there with no idea what to buy, let me offer you a wonderful suggestion with June Jacobs Spa Collection Sparkling Citrus Body Care Essentials that PR surprised me with.  This is a luxurious way to pamper and replicate a true, relaxing spa experience while delicately caring for the skin.

These products include a Citrus Shower Gel and Citrus Body Balm, which are both 6.7 oz. as well as free of parabens, preservatives, synthetic dyes, synthetic fragrances, and sulfates to keep the skin healthy. At the same time, this formula is vitamin rich and infused with rice and soy extracts along with a host of oils such as squalene, jojoba, sunflower and sesame for gentle cleansing that also deeply moisturizes.

June Jacobs Spa Collection Sparkling Citrus Body Care Essentials products.jpeg
June Jacobs Spa Collection Sparkling Citrus Body Care Essentials products 

With all the skin benefits found in this $49 kit, there is even more that I love.  The natural citrus scent is so pure and fresh once you open the cap that you will want to linger in the tub or apply more of that lovely, fast-absorbing lotion.  Trust me, it makes the skin so silky smooth when you emerge and continues to renew your spirit.   

Have you tried any of June Jacobs Spa Collection yet?  If not, then you really are in for a treat as are those that you’re buying for once they receive this Sparkling Citrus Body Care Essential kit!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Recipe: My Best Spice Layer Cake Is Perfect for Holiday Cheer!

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If you truly believe in the spirit of the holiday season, this is the time of year meant not just for giving gifts, but to share goodwill toward all. Whatever you’re doing now as you get into that spirit, I wish you well from my heart and hope all kindness you extend to others is repaid tenfold. 

Today, I wanted to do something special for a relative that has been sick.  I thought what better way to make her Saturday brighter than with my best spice layer cake.  This recipe is easy and makes three moist, light and fragrant nine-inch layers that once topped with your favorite butter cream icing is simply decadent.  

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My Best Spice Layer Cake disappears once it gets cut.

You may think this cake sounds like a lot of work.  However, you would lose because there is no butter to cream since this recipe uses oil.  Basically, this just involves gathering all your ingredients and mixing just to incorporate everything.  

I do advise using your measuring spoons, especially when using baking powder or baking soda.  It is important for your cake’s success to level those spoons or you can ruin it.  

I hope that you try this recipe because it is given in the true spirit of spreading joy.  

My Best Spice Layer Cake

My Best Spice Layer Cake, unfrosted.jpeg
This is what the three layers look like unfrosted.
3 cups of sifted flour
3 teaspoons of baking powder, leveled
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
½ teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of ground cloves
½ teaspoon of nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
2/3 cup of canola oil
1-1/2 cups of sugar
3 large eggs
1-1/4 cups of milk
3 tablespoons of molasses (light or dark, whatever you have on hand)
1 teaspoon of vanilla

Mix your oil with sugar and eggs, one at time with your electric mixer.

Sift your dry ingredients together in another mixing bowl and slowly add to the creamed mixture, alternating with the liquids (milk, molasses and vanilla) until all the ingredients are combined.
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This is what my Best Spice Layer Cake looks like once cut.

Grease and flour or line with wax paper  three nine-inch layer cake pans.

Divide the batter between three cake pans and bake in a 350-degree oven for about 25 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean.

Allow to cool in the pans for about 12 minutes before attempting to remove.  If you try to take them out too soon, you can end up with the cake breaking.

Frost with your favorite butter cream frosting.


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My Best Spice Layer Cake is known to open even the coldest hearts from what I've been told.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Review: Mineral Fusion’s Limitless Beauty Cream - A Beauty Product That Should Be in Your Possession

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

Mineral Fusion’s Limitless Beauty Cream.jpeg
Mineral Fusion’s Limitless Beauty Cream

One natural skin care product that is able to handle a multitude of issues arrived in a box of Mineral Fusion products.  I didn’t get a chance to try it until the other day, but I really was impressed with their Limitless Beauty Cream with all it did, especially if you have any dry patches or extra dry spots.

This little tube of intense moisturizing cream is free of parabens, phthalates, and 100% vegan that can be used on your face, body or nails to heal and soften with its nourishing ingredients like coconut oil, argan, olive leaf oil, shea butter and rosehip oil among others.

I tried it on a rough section on my elbow that always needs extra attention. Usually the creams and oils help banish that temporarily.  Sooner or later, I do get the same problem for some reason.  Well, I got to say this cream did wonders to correct that dry spot for me.  How long this improvement will last is still anyone’s guess, but it has only been a few days and the area is still soft even without continually moisturizing with this product. 

With how well it treated my worst problem with that one elbow, I will be keeping the Limitless Beauty Cream on hand at my house and another in my handbag from now on.  Next I plan on trying it when my hands get really chapped as they so often do when I wash them in public restrooms for some unknown reason.

For what Mineral Fusion’s Limitless Beauty Cream ($19.99) can do, I recommend it to one and all for all the skin help it can do.  You can find it at the company’s website or Whole Foods.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Not Your Mother’s Whip It Up Cream Styling Mousse 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.**
Not Your Mother’s Whip It Up Cream Styling Mousse.jpeg
Not Your Mother’s Whip It Up Cream Styling Mousse 

I was chosen by Influenster as one of the people that received the Spice VoxBox of beauty and food products to review.  Among the group was one hair styling aid from Not Your Mother’s brand called Whip It Up Cream Styling Mousse.

Before finding it in this box, I had never heard of the brand before.  However, I thought this Whip It Up Cream Styling Mousse made for a wonderful introduction.  

I do use a lot of mousse products to pump up my curls when styling.  This one came out with the most delectable vanilla cake scent ever.  It also had a different texture of being a thicker, whipped cream consistency than a typical puffy handful of mousse.  

I do have thick hair with some layers through it.  This mousse did help build up my curls and provided some decent control, but I did have to use a bit more than my current brand.  Nonetheless, I really thought it did a great job on my hair at an inexpensive drugstore price.

You can find Not Your Mother’s Whip It Cream Styling Mousse at the company’s website, Target, Walgreen’s or Amazon.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Review: Beauty Box 5 December 2105 Is an Awesome Month!

**Disclaimer:  This post has been compensated through a free product (s) or monetary payment.  Opinions are solely mine. All links are "no-follow" links.**
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Beauty Box 5 December 2105 held big goodies!

I always look forward to when I see that familiar little green box from Beauty Box 5 showing up at my house. This month’s theme from this beauty subscription happens to be Have Yourself a Smoky Holiday Season with helpful makeup, skin care and brush to help you achieve that goal!

If you also love digging in and discovering new beauty finds every month as I do, then I suggest looking into signing up for this beauty subscription box.  The cost is minimal at $12 a month with free shipping with five full to sample size cosmetics, skin care, hair care to fragrance products. 

Are you ready to get excited?  I think that you will once you check out these five FULL-SIZE beauty products that arrived this month.

Beauty Box 5 December 2015

1.  OFRA Shimmer Eye Shadow (Goget Refill for their palette)–$12.00

2.  BEAUTY BOX 5 Blender Brush –$10.00

3.  PRESTIGE COSMETICS Total Intensity Eyeliner–$5.95

4.  THE BEAUTY CROP Glamazon Stick–$22.00

5.  SO FRESH SO CLEAN Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes–$2.99

Total Value: $52.94!

The OFRA eye shadow is in the shimmery shade Millennium Bark, a brown with a hint of olive that has some sparkles to it that is a great neutral shade.  The card that came with this box has a value of $13.50, but at the company’s website it is $12.00. Either this is a typo or the price went up.  It does wear well without problems to nicely compliment my dark brown eyes.

The BEAUTY BOX 5 Blender Brush was wonderful to include in this box.  After all, you can never have enough eye shadow brushes.  It has a pointed, tapered tip unlike some flatter ended blender brushes that I own, which I found helped application for doing the smoky eye. 

The PRESTIGE COSMETICS Eyeliner is in Deepest Black is excellent.  This pencil is the blackest of black color like coal in a creamy gel-like formulation that glides well without tugging on your lids as you apply.  It is kind to sensitive eyes and holds up for hours of wear with only slight smudging.

THE BEAUTY CROP Glamazon Stick is a creamy highlighting crayon.  The color is a gleaming gold-based champagne that you will adore for accenting cheekbones, lids or wherever area you want to beam some light upon.  There are no sparkle chunks, but glorious, pale radiant gold light in this crayon.

The 25-count package of SO FRESH SO CLEAN Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes is the last product inside.  These are PH balanced and advertised to deep clean enough to remove waterproof mascara.  I haven’t tried any waterproof makeup to test that claim out, but this product did zap away my regular formula that I had on quickly and without any irritation.  

I dare you not to love this December 2105 assortment with this $52.94 grouping.  I know that I think this is my favorite box from this company this year.  What do you think?  I say check out Beauty Box 5 because you will love these boxes!  

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Review + Swatches: Mehron Precious Gem Powders for Dazzling Up Your Holiday Look

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

With all the holiday partying that is in your near future, you might want to add more sparkle and shine to your normal makeup, fitting this festive season.  Let me show you some quick ways from Mehron, a long-established brand known for their theatrical makeup and beauty products for movies and fashion, because when it comes to beautiful effects their Precious Gem Powders can be the solution for providing a luminescent jewel-like luster to wherever area you want!

These are highly pigmented, loose glowing powders that come in a shaker jar. I received three from the line in Black Onyx (smoky deep gray), Garnet (rusty-rose) and Topaz (golden glow).  

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From left to right is  Black Onyx, Garnet with Topaz on the right.

These sparkling powders have a fine, silky consistency and blend well.  This trio did create a pretty eye, but it also was fun to play with the Garnet and Topaz on my cheeks.  However, if you do prefer to use these powders just on your eyes, then do prime your lids first to extend the wear.

Do visit the Mehron website and check their Precious Gem Powders line out.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Review + Swatches: Laura Geller Iconic Baked Sculpting Lipsticks - Ideal for Holiday Glamour!

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

When you’re thinking how to up your appeal for those holiday parties, you need lip products that can go the distance if you want all eyes riveted to you.  With Laura Geller’s Iconic Baked Sculpting Lipsticks ($21), you can have your bases covered with coverage that can keep up with you through a long night.  These are gorgeous, well-pigmented shades that are complete with creamy feeling color from what I have observed.

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From left to right:  Lexington Ave. Coral, Madison Ave. Pink, Big Apple Red, Fifth Ave. Ruby and ending with Tribecca Tan on the right.

PR graciously sent five of the twelve from this line for me to sample.  Madison Avenue Pink is flirty, bright fuchsia pink that has just enough of the violet in the pink to liven up the color wonderfully instead of being over the top bold on the lips.  Lexington Coral has striking tones of strawberry and orange for a bright, medium coral that can be universally flattering. Big Apple Red is a soft true red that is a classic for any woman’s makeup bag.  However, if you want to give your lips a more seductive edge to them, then you might prefer Fifth Ave. Ruby.  This is a deeper crimson red for full-out glamour.  Tribecca Tan is a medium, orange-beige nude that is great for every day with how neutral it is.  

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Going from right to left is Lexington Ave, Coral, Madison Ave. Pink, Big Apple Red, Fifth Ave. Ruby and ending with Tribecca Tan on the left.

These lipsticks feature fancy patterned bullets and have a magnetic sort of closure for the cap.  Though those things are nice, they are not the reason why I like them.  The formula makes your lips feel comfortable with its almond oil, apricot butter and sunflower oil even after hours later when it starts to fade or you eat some off, your lips will still feel good while you’re left with more of a vivid stain.

I label it vivid because even when you try to remove it with water-rinsing makeup cleanser, it will doesn’t budge easily.  It took two applications before I could get rid of the color off of my arm.   Now that is what I call a long-wearing, but comfortable lipstick!

Head over to Laura Geller’s website, ULTA beauty or QVC. com and do look into the Iconic Baked Sculpting Lipsticks!