Thursday, April 28, 2011

Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa

Here's a post that has nothing to do with makeup or fashion, but rather another one of my passions - food.  I have recently been cooking a lot more, and I love finding new, simple recipes to add to my mental cookbook, especially recipes for dishes that I love to get when eating out.
This week whilst compiling my grocery list, I decided to look up a quick recipe for fish tacos. I LOVE fish tacos. I almost always order them if they are on the menu, and I was so excited when I found this recipe for fish tacos and mango salsa. I made them for myself and a few friends and they were delicious and so easy to make.

Since I've already linked the actual recipes, I'm just going to give you a brief rundown of what I did. You definitely do not have to worry about exact measurements in this recipe.

Starting with the salsa, I chopped up these ingredients:
And mixed them up into a bowl with salt and pepper to taste
I prepared the flour tortillas by heating them up on a skillet with a little bit of oil until they were a golden brown color and had bubbled up.
Next I cooked the fish on a hot skillet. The recipe recommends using a firm fish like swordfish or shark, so I used two medium sized fillets of swordfish, which made enough for 10 tacos. I seasoned the fish with some salt and pepper after it was cooked.
Finally, I added some avocado slices and some lime juice (you can add whatever garnish you like),
and assembled my tacos with the salsa!

Overall, I am very pleased with how these turned out and I had so much fun putting this post together.
I hope you enjoyed it!


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Very Nude Lip Combo

Hello everyone! For the past few weeks since MAC's Quite Cute collection has launched, I have been captivated by a few things from the collection - Playing Koi & Candy Yum-Yum lipsticks, Bubble Tea plushglass, and a few of the blushes. When I felt that I could no longer look from afar, I decided to go to the MAC counter to see what they had left. There wasn't much, but that was probably a blessing in disguise.
I walked away with these two items that are good on their own, but even better when paired together.

Naked Liner lip pencil; Bubble Tea plushglass

I have been looking for a nude liner since forever, and this is it. Naked Liner is a true pinkish nude lip liner that is incredibly soft and creamy.The only other lip pencil that I own is from the Body Shop and it is hard and dry and no where near as nude as this one. This goes on with the lightest touch and I am so glad the makeup artist at MAC recommended this to me. 
It's not only pretty, but it's practical too - or as practical as makeup can be.  It is extremely matte and long lasting. You can use it to "over line" your lips to give the illusion of fuller lips, but this would probably only work if you are using a nude lip color because it can be slightly obvious. You can use it under lip glosses to make them hold better and last longer. And you can use it underneath any lipstick to make it brighter, and more true to color.
 I can't wait to experiment more with this, and maybe talk about it more in a future post. 

The plushglass is nice also, but nothing amazing - it was a purchase mainly to satisfy my need to try a plushglass. It is a beige pink, but comes out very sheer like many of the other plushglasses. These are supposed to be plumping lipglosses, but they don't really do much except give your lips a slightly minty feeling that may make you believe your lips are fuller. This is not such a bad thing, because I hate harsh plumping lipglosses. I love the packaging, the way it looks in the tube, the name, and the smell of it - it actually smells vaguely like bubble tea.
I would never have worn this alone, so I thought it would go perfectly with my new Naked lip liner.

It is evident to me after this post that I hate modeling my lips. But anyways, this nude lip takes a little more effort than just a lipstick would. But, I think that since it is a pencil, it is a lot thinner than a lipstick would be, so it doesn't look gloopy or too heavy and you can get into every nook and cranny of your lip using the point of the pencil. The gloss is also very thin, which is nice because I hate feeling like I am wearing layer upon layer of product on my lips.

Although the bubble tea plushglass is limited edition, I believe that the naked lip liner has become a permanent product which is perfect because I can see myself repurchasing it =)

What are your favorite lip liners/lip combos?


Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Perfect Pastel

Last night I went to sleep earlier than I normally would, and I got a good, much needed night's rest.
I woke up this morning feeling like p-diddy so refreshed and energized.
To match my mood, I donned my girliest of tops and reached for some more adventurous shades while doing my eye makeup. The top I am talking about is a dusky pink cropped top with blue and rose colored flower patterns all over. For some reason, when I imagine myself in this shirt, I imagine myself with some sort of pastel blue makeup on. Seeing that I did not own the pastel color I envisioned, I mixed two blues that I already had in my collection - the pale, almost white, blue from my Soften the Mood trio, and the bright turquoise blue from the Original Sleek palette.

I very lightly dabbed the turquoise blue over my lid on top of MAC's painterly paint pot, and spread it out with the clean side of my brush. Then using the lighter blue on a blending brush, I blended over the first color until I lightened it to the color I wanted. Then I took some Naked eyeshadow by Urban Decay and blended the edges into my crease. On their own, these shadows would not have given me the effect I was looking for, but together they mixed into a beautiful pastel blue.

I'm surprised at how much I liked it, considering I (and many other people) do not usually wear pastel blue eyeshadow. I'm glad I was brave enough to wear this out all day, as it really did have a mood elevating effect.

Hope you're all having a great day!


Save the Earth, get your goods, and feel good doing it

I was ecstatic when I read on Holly's yummy mummy beauty blog that Origins is promoting recycling by allowing customers to trade in their old (or new) skincare products for a new full-size Origins cleanser as a celebration of Earth Day. So excited, that I want to tell all my friends about this and spread the word, hence this post. In the U.S., the promotion will take place on Earth Day itself, April 22, and I will definitely be going to Origins to get myself one of their cleansers. 

I've talked about the Checks and Balances cleanser before, and it is amazing, but knowing me I will probably go for the Perfect World cleanser just to try something new. 

I also found a few other offers that are going around that you guys might be interested in. 

Zoya nail Polish Exchange banner
Zoya is having a nail polish exchange, where you can swap your old nail polishes for new Zoya ones! 
You have to choose at least 6 nailpolishes, and up to 24, which is not hard considering how many colors they have. The only thing is that since Zoya is a web-based company, you have to pay $4 per bottle for shipping and processing. 
I have been wanting to try Zoya nail polishes for quite some time, and I know I am not alone in having bottles and bottles of dried up, unused, and abandoned nail polishes lying around. 

And finally, bring your reusable mug or tumbler to a participating Starbucks and they will fill it up for free with your choice of coffee or tea! This is so awesome for those coffee addicts out there, and for those of us who are working on our finals =<.

Darth Day on April 22

Helping to preserve the Earth, while saving some money at the same time? Yes, please.
I hope you all check out these great deals while they last!


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Standout Skincare

My skincare routine is always changing. Although there are a few products I love that will always remain in my regimen, I also like to swap in new products with the hope of getting my skin in the best condition it can be in. 

My skin isn't what a lot of people would call terrible. I have my good and bad days, but most of the time my skin is generally okay. I do get an occasional spot or two, but the main issues I have with my skin are with the texture, oiliness in my t-zone, and blackheads. All along my t-zone I have these tiny little bumps; I have no idea what they are (I am thinking they are whiteheads), but they are impossible to get rid of or cover up. The products I have used to date have been enough to keep those pesky bumps in check, but I am still on the hunt for that miracle product (ideas?).
Playing around with skincare is fun because it is almost like a DIY science experiment - with time you figure out which products work with your skin. So here are a few products that I feel have really contributed to the current upkeep of my skin.

St Ives Apricot Scrub
If there's one thing I like rough, it's my facial scrub O.O. I know a lot of people might not agree, but my skin is not overly sensitive and I only use this about once a week. This apricot scrub does such an amazing job at getting all the dead skin cells off to reveal the new, healthy skin underneath. It makes my skin so smooth and it is also unbelievably helpful in reducing the number and visibility of my blackheads. The tub is huge and is so inexpensive - I don't think I will ever feel the need to try a different facial scrub.

CVS Purifying Mint Masque
This mint masque, which I think is the CVS version of the Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque, works wonders. I use this about once a week after I use the apricot scrub, and it does exactly what it says on the tube. As I mentioned before I have an oily t-zone, so when I use this I can see the exact spots along my nose where the mask is drawing out the excess oils in my skin. Even though it is really good for oily skin, it doesn't dry out the rest of my skin; it actually makes it really smooth and fresh feeling. 

CVS Daily Acne Control spot treatment
Another CVS product, but in this case I don't really have a preference - any benzoyl peroxide treatment will do. I bought this because it was cheap, and didn't think much of it. One day I decided to use it on my blackheads, a form of acne, and it was the first time that my nose seemed to be cleared of blackheads. I use this stuff all the time now, it really works. 

Walgreens Alpha Hydroxy Face Cream
Alpha hydroxy acids are compounds that remove the top layers of dead skin cells and can also thicken the deeper layers of skin, promoting firmness. This might sting if you have sensitive skin, because it stings me a little when I put it on. It is a really runny cream so you only need a small amount to cover your entire face. When you have blackheads or other forms of acne, exfoliation is key and I like this because it is an exfoliant that works while I sleep and that I can use everyday. 

Dermalogica Skin Smoothing Cream
I bought this moisturizer because it seems like it would be really good for combination skin. It is really hydrating and doesn't clog pores. It really makes your skin look and feel smoother, which is why it works well as a foundation primer. You get a good amount of product in one tube, and I really like the practical packaging. If you do buy Dermalogica products, make sure to check on Amazon first because it is a lot cheaper than their actual website! 

I hope that was helpful, or at least interesting. Let me know what your favorite skin care products are!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Imats Purchases

Shopping at IMATS was a very different shopping experience than I am used to. With dozens of people picking at the same things, there was not a lot of time or space to try things on, swatch every other color, and definitely no time to go home and ponder. I picked things up pretty impulsively, but I am very pleased with everything I bought. Anyway, let's get on to the haul:

I picked up two blushes at Inglot - face blush in #24 and cream blush in #88

The cream blush is so different to any cream blush I have ever come across. It has a very watery, thin consistency and blends into your skin so smoothly. I haven't worn it out yet, so I don't know about it's lasting power, but I imagine that it would feel really nice and light on your skin. I liked the powder blush because of the color. I was looking for a light pink/peach nude blush, similar to NARS sex appeal, and I found this one. It is pretty light, and I have no idea whether it will show up on my skin or not, but here's to hoping. 

I have seen several blogposts about these little tubes of paint-like lip color by Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics and I am so glad I got to see them in person and pick out two that I really like. 

Cha Cha looks exactly like my beloved Orange Soda lipstick by NYX and Interlace is a beautiful peachy nude color (though for some reason it looks more pinky mauve in the picture). These are really impressive - one tiny dab on my finger goes such a long way. They seem like they would be super sticky, but they are not at all and easily spread across your lips. I really like them so far, but their smell is a bit nauseating. Also, the packaging is annoying and can get messy because the product oozes out - when I first got mine it poured out everywhere and it was a b*$#% to clean. 

Lastly, I got a bunch of brushes:
The white goat hair pencil brush is from Confidential Brushes, which is such good quality. Their brushes are very similar in quality and style to the MAC brushes and I was very impressed. I only got one but there were so many others that I wanted.
The black crease blending brush, the angled blending brush, and the small stippling brush are all from Royal & Langnickel. They had every brush imaginable, with some very unique ones like this one, which is now my pride and joy:
How amazing is it? It is so soft and dense and the angle is perfect for the contours of your face. The quality of the Royal & Langnickel brushes is not quite as nice as that of the Confidential ones, but they are more affordable and are still very good.

And that is all. I'm actually surprised that I didn't get more things, but I am trying to work on my self control so I guess this is a good thing =P


Monday, April 11, 2011

IMATS New York

Hello everyone, and thank god for the 70 degree weather that is making this Monday slightly more bearable. 

This past weekend I went to the International Make-up Artists Trade Show in New York! 
This was the first year that the show has ever taken place here, and it was the first time in the history of IMATS that the show has been completely sold out, probably because of the size of the venue. From what I've seen on the IMATS website, it seems that the New York show was one of the smallest ones, and the list of exhibitors was not quite as impressive as some of the ones in other cities. 

Nevertheless, the event itself was super fun and I'm glad I got to go. It was nice to see so many people - make-up artists, enthused consumers, and the occasional boyfriend or two - gathered there for the same reasons (aside from the boyfriends maybe?). The overwhelming amount of people meant that it was physically impossible for the sales people to pester you while you shopped, but it also meant that fifty other people were trying to make their way through to have a look at the same things you were. Yes, it got a little crazy at times, but all in all it was a great time, and I always love any excuse to spend a day in Soho. 

Here's some pictures from the event:
Student competition 
Jane Iredale
Royal & Langnickel 
And the outfit I wore for the day:
Outfit: Top - H&M; Blazer - Urban Outfitters; Skirt - Forever21; Tights - American Eagle; Flats - Steve Madden; Bag- Zara; Watch - Lucien Picard

I had an awesome day, and I really recommend you go to an IMATS show if you ever get the chance!
Of course I walked away with a few goodies that I am so excited about, which I will probably be blogging about in my next post.

Hope you're all doing well =)


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Hot for Spring

Thank you everybody for supporting me and entering my giveaway, and hello to all my new followers!
I loved reading all your comments and discovering new products. In the responses that I have gotten so far, I've seen some obvious trends in the things that people want and like in the spring and it inspired me to make a collective list/wishlist for myself of the things that you guys think are hot for spring:

1. Facial Sprays - I purchased MAC's fix+ a while ago at a CCO, but I haven't really been using it lately, because it is just an extra step that I often forget about. I really do like the effect that it gives though, and after seeing many people say that they liked using it in the spring, I realized how perfect it is to freshen up the face and keep your skin looking glow-y and healthy. You probably know this trick, but I like to spray it on my face and then blowdry it - it works amazingly!
A few to try: MAC Fix +; Evian mineral water spray; Evan Healy Lavender facial tonic

2. Bright Blush - Sometimes the brightest, scariest blush colors are the ones that I end up loving the most. That is why I am always on the lookout for bright, unique colors and I got some really good suggestions from you guys. A few that I really want to try are MAC dollymix, NARS desire, and Milani luminous, which isn't really very bright, but still pretty nonetheless.

3. Coral lips - Of course. Coral is the color for spring and it is everywhere.
A few to try: Chanel Sari Dore; MAC Costa Chic; Revlon Coral Reef

4. Spring Scents - I am so bad with matching my perfume to the seasons. Most of the time I just wear whatever I think smells good, but I'm glad you guys gave me some good ideas for perfumes and body sprays.
A few to try: Bath and Body Works Bali Mango; Burberry The Beat

And now I want to share a few things that I have been absolutely obsessed with this spring:

Essie's Boat House Nail Polish
This is the perfect true coral color. It is one of the more "watery" formulas, which I tend to like more because they are easy to apply and any mistakes that you make disappear as the nail polish spreads and dries. It makes your nails pop, and adds interest to any outfit.

N.Y.C. Blushable Creme Stick - Plaza Pink
I just got this, but I can already tell that I am going to love it, and have already planned to get more. I was pleasantly surprised when I popped open this 3 dollar blush stick, and witnessed the creamy smoothness and pigmentation of the swatch on my hand. Because of the pigmentation I recommend using a light hand or getting it on a brush first before dabbing it on. The color is like a watermelon pink, much more like the bottom picture than the top one which makes it look more coral.
I think these are great, especially because there aren't many cream blushes available at the drugstore.

NYX Orange Soda
This is one of my all time favorite lipsticks, which is great because it is dirt cheap. I have already gone through one tube of this, and I love having it in my purse and throwing it on without worrying about using it up or messing it up. I mostly love this because of the color. It is an orange peach sherbet color that always makes me feel spring-y, even though I wear this year round. I think it is a truly unique color that I haven't been able to find in other lipsticks, except maybe one by Illamasqua, which is way out of my price range.
I usually dab a light layer of this on and then rub it in with my fingers. It gives the perfect nude lip with a hint of pale peachyness, and doesn't look like lipstick when it is applied like this.

Just Mascara
I used to wear eyeliner practically every time I wore makeup. Recently I have gone for a lighter look, skipping the liner and just putting mascara on my top and bottom lashes. It makes such a big difference - my eyes look less heavy and my lashes look longer and stand out more.

Cognac Leather
Cognac leather anything always catches my eye. I think it looks especially good in the spring, against a white top and accented with some brightly colored jewelry. Actually it goes with a lot of different colors and patterns and is so easily worn for a classic, put together look.

So these are the things that I have been loving this spring. The warm weather always makes me pay more attention to the little things that make me happy =)


Sunday, April 3, 2011

100 Follower Giveaway! CLOSED

Hello everyone! I hope you are all doing well.
I am so happy to say that I reached 100 followers this weekend! I want to thank each and every one of you for reading and leaving wonderful comments on my blog. I started this blog sort of on a whim, but it has become a big hobby of mine, and I have so much fun thinking up posts and talking to you guys.

I don't know if you guys ever think about this, but I always wonder when I'm looking at other people's blogs, "how many tries did it take them to get that amazing picture?" because I sure as hell know it takes me about 1092384 shots sometimes before I get one that I am happy with. Maybe I am a big of a perfectionist, but yes, I put a lot of effort into my blog, and it is an awesome  feeling when I write a post that I really like, or I read a really sweet comment.

So, I wanted to do a little giveaway for you guys, as a token of appreciation, and because giveaways are fun.
I picked these products out with a "things for spring" theme in mind. I'll be giving away:

1. Hard Candy Baked Blush in Honeymoon - this blush is just too cute. It is a peachy pastel pink, with lilac veining running through it. It reminds me a lot of the new Quite Cute collection from MAC.
2. MAC lipstick in Ravishing - this is a coral red color that is perfect for spring.
3. Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Nail Color in Mint Sorbet - I really like this and I talked about it in my last NOTD post, so I decided to give one away.

Rules of the giveaway:
1. You must be a public follower on GFC
2. For one entry, leave a comment below telling me what your favorite products are for spring, along with your e-mail address.
3. For +2 entries, link this giveaway anywhere on your blog (If you do this, please include a link in the comments).
4. This giveaway is open internationally.
5. Giveaway ends on May 1st.

Thanks again, and good luck!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

I Got Sunshine

We finally got some beautiful warm weather -no jackets required - it was about time!
It was a pretty lazy today, I slept in, went out for lunch, and spent the day with my boyfriend. 
Here was my outfit for the day:

Outfit: Tank - American Apparel; Cardigan - Forever21; Leggings - Unknown; Scarf - Zara; Boots - Nine West; Earrings - Asos; Rings - Topshop and H&M; Sunglasses - Ray Ban