Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Chanel Le Vernis in 547 Pulsion

I take back what I said in my last post regarding muted nail colors. The moment I saw Pulsion at the Chanel counter, that tame streak ended and now I'm back on with bright fingers. :)

Pulsion is an electric, fuchsia-pink creme that provides full opacity in 1 layer. The formula is probably the best I have ever tried on (for the price, it better be!). The color is probably not the most unique, but I don't care! I love it, and can see this looking beautiful on summer toesies.


In other news, a package arrived for me on Saturday. Guess what it is?? ;)


Yup, my Benefit Bella Bamba's! I've been impatiently waiting for this release and snatched up three (one for me, two for Christmas presents) on the first day it debuted on Benefit's site. I love Benefit's boxed powders/blushes, and from the peeks I've taken of this new one, I have a feeling it's going to rocket to the top of my favorites list. Still trying to get myself to break the new surface of it. Anyone else do this with new products??

It's been so rainy and cold here in Northern California. Hopefully the sun will come out soon and I'll get an opportunity to get some good pictures of Bella Bamba. Review and swatches to come!


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Essie Sew Psyched

Been feeling the more muted colors on my nails lately...Essie Sew Psyched fits in nicely with all the other nudes, greiges, and greys without being TOO boring. After all, I still crave a little bit of color! Love.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake

A late, random update! I made some bourbon pumpkin cheesecake over Thanksgiving. It's one of the most impressive-looking cheesecakes I've ever made. It's always nerve-racking for me to make cheesecakes, but this one went off without a hitch. Yay!

Pouring the batter into the pan

Results! Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake with a Graham-Pecan Crust and Sour Cream Topping

Close up

My cheesecake + the pumpkin pie I also made for Thanksgiving :)


It's 1am here in California and my body has finally succumbed to the cold that has been going around. I'm full of sniffles and sneezes, not to mention an extremely sore throat. Gah! I hate being sick! :(

Hope everyone else is in better health!

Monday, November 22, 2010

weekends are made for baking

To me, there is nothing better after a long week than designating half a day out of my weekend to baking a few things on my To Cook List. I wake up after a much-needed, long 8-hour sleep feeling ready to tackle new recipes. I take my time getting out of bed, pad downstairs in my jammies, and a nice cup of hot tea or coffee later, I start pulling out various bowls, measuring cups, and jars of flour and sugar. The past weekend, I had two projects in mind: first, some pumpkin Nutella bread (above) that had been on my mind for a month now, and secondly, my first commissioned (!!!) birthday cake that my cousin requested for her mom! :) She gave me free rein over the whole thing, so I decided to make a chocolate cake with raspberry filling and chocolate frosting.

After pureeing and straining out about a million seeds from my raspberries, I cooked it with some sugar and a bit of cornstarch to make the filling.

Layering the cake with raspberry filling.

Crumb coating to help keep the frosting smooth~

Final application of frosting!

I jazzed up the otherwise plain-looking cake with some colorful birthday candles and mini star sprinkles--aren't they cute??

Close up of the sprinkles

The result! It took me about 7 hours to bake, assemble, and clean everything after these two most recent projects. I should have been tired, but I felt so happy with the (really yummy and well-appreciated) results that I was ready to take on the second half of my Saturday, which included my aunt's birthday party and the latest HARRY POTTER!!! I'm a huge Potter fan, so it was a nice way to end my day. :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Mexican Hot Chocolate

Is there anything better on these chilly autumn days than a good cup of hot chocolate? I think not. Today I took some time out for myself after a long day at work to make this spin on traditional cocoa. Decadent and creamy, with an extra punch of heat from some cinnamon and cayenne, this drink definitely lifted my mood and kept me warm long after I drained my cup. You could use nonfat/soy milk, but I did myself a favor and went all the way with whole milk and a good bit of Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate. I feel more ready to face the colder days ahead. :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

MAC Cut-A-Caper Lipstick

Though the packaging from MAC's A Tartan Tale collection was pretty cute, none of the products really appealed to me besides this lustre lipstick in Cut-A-Caper.

It's a cute, soft coral-peach that's right up my alley. In person, the lipstick looks brighter than this picture, which is what attracted me initially. I love bright lip products! However, when swatched on my hand and lips, it was rather disappointing for me.

First of all, it applied too sheer for my liking. This swatch probably took about 5-6 swipes for this amount of opacity.

Compared to my MUFE Rouge Artist Intense in #38 (left), Cut-A-Caper (right) is definitely lighter and more peachy. However, the MUFE lipstick only took 1 swipe to get that color as opposed to the 5-6 that Cut-A-Caper required.

Lip swatch

Yes, it is pretty enough on the lips after a few layers, and yes it isn't too drying, but it tends to settle into my fine lines and to be honest, the color isn't unique enough to make up for its lack in pigment. In fact, on my lips it looked very close to my (much cheaper) Maybelline Color Sensational lipstick in Pink Please. Again, this is all a matter of my opinion. Cut-A-Caper just didn't make the cut for me, so back it went. Oh well, better luck next time!


P.S. The dress I'm wearing in the picture above is the same one I'm wearing in the picture below. It's from the collaboration Tucker did with Target (yay!). I bought 3 pieces from this collection (including this and this) and love them all.

Coolest part about this dress? It has pockets which are so seamlessly integrated that you can't even tell they're there. In fact, I didn't even realize it had pockets until I was smoothing out my dress one day. I thought I had ripped a hole in it, haha! Worn with a braided belt from F21 and red pumps from Nine West.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sephora FF & VIB Sale 2010 Haul

So after returning a few items I deemed unworthy after testing, this is the final stash that I came out with from this year's Sephora Friends & Family and V.I.B. sales. Most of the items are necessary refills that I use on a daily basis, but I did indulge in some new products that I'm quite happy with. :)

The Final Cut:
-Too Faced Enchanted Glamourland
-Boscia Peppermint Blotting Linens
-Dr. Dennis Gross Extra Strength Alpha Beta Peel
-Rene Furterer Dry Shampoo
-Clinique All About Eyes
- Guerlain Rouge G lipstick in #64 Gemma
-NARS blush in Sin
-Purity Made Simple Luxury Size
-Laura Mercier Mineral Foundation Primer
-Laura Mercier Creme Smooth Foundation
-Laura Mercier Mineral Powder SPF 15 (not shown)
-Laura Mercier Secret Concealer (not shown)
-Clarisonic Replacement Brush Head Twin-Pack in Sensitive (not shown)
-Make Up For Ever Lip Brush #3N (not shown)

Seeing this list puts me on the verge of a heart attack, so I keep having to remind myself that the majority of the items are things that I use every day, and only 4 (Guerlain lippie, Too Faced palette, NARS blush, Laura Mercier creme foundation) are really considered "indulgences."

Ahem. Yup. That's my story and I'm sticking to it! :P

Did anyone else haul from Sephora during this season's two biggest sales? Do share! :)
Hello...again! I know, I know, I've been so bad at updating this blog. My last post was over a month ago. October was super hectic yet went by so quickly that I felt like I never had a moment to sit down and write. So, in an effort to be more regular with the postings, I've decided to do more short, to the point updates rather than attempt entire detailed reviews. That way, it will be easier and more fun for me to keep up with this, and that should be the whole point of blogging right?? Of course, I will still write reviews on things I acquire/like, but at the same time I will post more random life, fashion, food-related (my favorite!) subjects. new favorite toy!

I went to LA a few weeks ago for a relaxing weekend, which I spent catching up with college friends and eating everything I had been missing. The bf and I went to the new, swankier mall section of Third Street Promenade and wandered into the Disney Store. The moment I saw this toy, I knew I had to have it!

Just looks like any old regular green bean...

But unzip it.....

....and you'll find the cutest little peas in a pod from Toy Story 3! They only made a brief appearance in the movie, but I remember thinking they were so adorable. I practically squealed when I saw this in the store, and even picked up another one for the boy's little sister. It's currently sitting on top of my bed frame's ledge, fully unzipped so you can see the little guys inside. :)

Anyway, it's 1am here in California, so off to bed I go. Consider this the first of many mini posts.

Ciao! <3

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Zoya Flame for Winter 2010: Swatches and Review

EDIT 11/19/2010: This collection is now called "Flame" instead of "Fire and Ice" due to some trademark issues with Revlon. Apparently Revlon already had a collection by that name. Sorry for the confusion!

Imagine my surprise when I found Zoya's Winter 2010 collection as I was browsing for nail polish. Named "Fire and Ice," this is Zoya's ultra shimmery, ultra stunning line for winter. Yes, winter! I haven't even worn any of from my fall collections haul and I'm already skipping ahead to winter. In my defense, these were hard to resist. I love shimmery polishes, and from the moment I saw the color samples online, I knew my wallet was going to be in trouble.

The collection consists of 6 different colors, but I ended up only picking out 4 that I liked the most. The other 2, called Lisa (red with gold sparkles) and Sarah (magenta with gold sparkles), weren't really special to me so I passed on those. I couldn't find any swatches of this collection on any of my favorite nail polish blogs, so I'm guessing that the collection hasn't been officially released yet? I read somewhere that it's supposed to come out on October 1st. Oh well, I found these at my local beauty supply shop, so I figure that if I was able to buy them in a store open to the public, I should be able to show them online to you, my dear readers!

These will be perfect for the holidays. All the colors pack some serious shimmer. The formula is typical of a shimmer, which is to say a little thin and sheer, so I did 3 coats for all of the swatches. Dry time was pretty good; I was able to paint the nails on my left to right hand and back without significant wait time in between. The only gripe I have with these polishes is that they are a pain to remove. The polish itself isn't difficult to take off, but expect gold glitter residue everywhere! Even after a good wipe down with 4 remover-soaked cotton balls, I can still see some tiny flecks here and there. Still, these exceeded my expectations in terms of looks. I thought it would be harder to let go of the mint greens, yellows, and bright pinks I've been sporting all summer, but these lovely shades make the transition to colder weather easy.

So, without further ado, I present to you my personal favorites from Zoya Fire and Ice for Winter 2010. Click on the pictures for a closer look! :)


The first is called Tiffany, and I would describe it as a pink/peach champagne with gold shimmer. I'm not usually drawn to colors like this, but Tiffany is so pretty! I can see myself wearing this a lot. It makes me think of New Year's and bottles of bubbly popping open, haha! It's a nice way to do a light pink without veering towards spring's pastel version. It's very refined-looking; I think it will match beautifully with medium skin tones. My second favorite from the collection.

Natural light

With flash


The second is called Gloria. Out of the 4 I picked up, Gloria is probably the least unique, though that doesn't mean it's ugly! On the contrary, Gloria is a bright red pink with gold shimmer that will be nice on both hands and toes. A different way to do red. It's the perfect color to wear come December 25th as you stand underneath some mistletoe ;)

Natural light

With flash


The third polish I picked up is my personal favorite from this collection. Valerie is a deep purple shimmer that has flashes of orange/yellow. Gorgeous. Looks great on lighter skin tones!

Natural light

With flash


The last one I picked up is called Crystal, and it's a light blue with gold shimmer. I'm pretty biased towards this color and picked it up mainly because they're UCLA colors. ;) I would probably wear Crystal to a tailgate for this football season if I were still living in LA (GO BRUINS!). Football or not, this is still a very pretty color. I've heard that it could be a dupe for OPI's Absolutely Alice, but I think this is a much lighter, frostier blue.

Natural light

With flash


Alrighty, those are my thoughts on Zoya's Winter 2010 collection! If you do happen to see these in stores before October 1st, make sure to grab some. I would probably pick up Valerie and Tiffany, as these are the 2 stand outs in the collection in my opinion.

Have a great Thursday!


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fall 2010 Nail Polish Frenzy!

After trying and failing to find Chanel's Les Khakis collection (By the way, this is what sucks about living in Northern California as opposed to LA. In LA, I could have chosen from 3 different retailers within 15 minutes of my apartment that would have stocked all of the Chanel polishes. Here, the closest--and only!--place that would have it is in San Francisco. ARGH!), I guess I went a little crazy and assuaged my pain by picking up items from 3 other Fall 2010 nail polish collections (plus one Winter 2010 collection!). I know. I have a problem. I admit it! I gave in. I am weak to the charms of pretty nails.

Just how badly did I break down??

This badly.

Yeaaaa...I should really get some help. Overcompensation through overconsumption. I even hid the bag of polishes inside my purse when I got home so that the boy wouldn't see it. That's when you know there's something wrong! any of you ever do that? Hide your purchases/receipts from loved ones? Sneak around with your newly-bought goods?? Say "Oh, I've had this for a while" when someone asks you if it's new??? If so, then hello. I'm a fellow addict.

But can you blame a girl? Just look!

First, I picked up a mini set of Essie's Fall 2010 collection, which includes (from left to right): Little Brown Dress, Merino Cool, Limited Addiction, and Sew Psyched (which I was so psyched about because it's the closest I'll get to Chanel's Khaki Vert).

Then I saw OPI's Swiss Fall Collection and thought "Ooh! I don't have anything pine green (Cuckoo For This Color), gunmetal (Lucerne-tainly Look Marvelous), or dark teal (Ski Teal We Drop)!" And before you knew it, three more bottles were in my basket.

Then of course, there were the 2 collections that I've reallyyyyyy been looking forward to: Orly's Cosmic FX for Fall 2010 and Zoya's Fire and Ice for Winter 2010.

And whaddaya know? The beauty store I went to had both! There was no way I was passing up these babies.

Lunar Eclipse, Space Cadet (MY FAVE!), and Haley's Comet. Lunar Eclipse and Haley's Comet have almost exact dupes, but I don't own any of them, so I picked them up. Space Cadet was just too cool to leave behind. If I had to pick JUST ONE (though I wouldn't anyway, lol), it would be Orly's Space Cadet.

Finally, there's Zoya's Fire and Ice Collection. All shimmery, beautiful, and perfect for this upcoming season. I picked up my four favorites

Valerie, Tiffany, Crystal, Gloria. Can't wait to use all of them!

Now the question is.......which one first?? :)