Friday, October 28, 2016

Love It, Like It, or Lose It v.7

This Love It, Like It, or Lose It review is full of "Loves"! 

Purlisse Blue Lotus 4-in-1 Cleansing Milk - "a gentle, soap & sulfate free cleanser that washes away dirt, impurities & makeup in 1 simple step.  This soothing multi-tasker leaves skin pure and clean without stripping skin of its natural oils."

Thoughts:  I agree with the above description 100%!  This is a fabulous cleanser!  It feels very gentle (which often means ineffective) and is non-drying, so the first couple of times I used it, I followed it with a toner.  I was fully expecting to see foundation on the cotton pad but there wasn't a trace!

Purlisse Blue Lotus Essential Daily Moisturizer SPF 30 - "offers superior full-spectrum sun protection without a white tint.  This lightweight, nourishing formula pampers & protects against premature aging caused by the sun’s rays for healthy, smooth & soft skin."

Thoughts:  As I mentioned above this is another "love" for me, but this one comes with a caveat.  It is nicely moisturizing, makes my skin look glowy, and has higher SPF without the thick goopiness of many sunscreens.  The caveat - do NOT get this near your eyes.  On busy mornings I often pat my facial moisturizer underneath my eyes in place of separate eye cream.  Doing that with this moisturizer resulted in me streaming tears for a solid 15 minutes.  I've done this with dozens of moisturizers over the years (including others with SPF) and have never had my eyes burn that badly!

Kate Somerville Exfolikate - "reveal a glowing, fresh-from-the-Clinic complexion. Scrubbing Exfoliants are designed to deep clean pores while Fruit Enzymes help to clarify and renew skin, balancing hydration, without over-drying. See dramatically smoother, brighter, healthier-looking skin after just 1 use."

Thoughts - This is the gold standard of exfoliators! Both a chemical and a physical exfoliator in one, it really does leave skin smooth and bright. 

Ulta Eye Primer in "Nude Matte" - "A must have product for a crease fee look that lasts all day! Use this exclusive eye primer under eye shadow to prolong wear and eliminate creasing."

Thoughts:  I was pleasantly surprised by how well this works! I apply at 7 in the morning and I'm still crease free at dinner time!  The matte-ness of this primer makes it ideal for cream shadows.  It applies as a "nude" shade so those who need some color correction may find it preferable to other primers that apply sheer.

Clinique Lash Doubling Mascara - "Magnifies lashes to twice their size. Thickens them to maximum volume. In minimum time. Unique tapered brush finds every lash. For bigger, better lashes."

Thougts:  Yup!  What they said!  This mascara lengthens and plumps my itty bitty lashes and the brush grabs every lash without me poking myself in the eye.  Minimal smudging and flaking by the end of the day too.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

October Allure Beauty Box

I have to admit I'm a little more excited than normal about the products in my most recent beauty box!  It isn't often that I receive multiple staple products, products I've been wanting to try, and my favorite shade of shadow all in one box!
I have seen body wash infused buffer sponges in stores before but have yet to try one.  I received one in here by Spongelle in the scent "Freesia Pear".  It smells very spa-like and I'm fairly excited to test out the whole "cleanse, exfoliate, massage, and nourish" all-in-one claim.  If it rings true certain family members may have to quit complaining that I take forever in the shower!  :)

Dry shampoo is a staple of mine since I only wash my hair every 2-3 days.  I have tried Klorane Dry Shampoo previously and loved it so of course I was thrilled to see it when I opened the box!

Another brand I was excited to see was Tatcha!  I love their Rice Enzyme Powder so I'm looking forward to trying their Indigo Soothing Silk Hand Cream.  I have hand lotions stashed all over the place (e.g. in my desk, the kitchen, my bag, on a living room window sill...)  and since upcoming winter weather means upcoming drier skin, I'm sure I'll be testing this out soon.

Mally must really be promoting their mascara right now.  I received a travel-size of their Volumizing Mascara in my Birchbox last month and a full-size in this month's Allure box.  Guess I should make it part of my next Love It, Like It, or Lose It and see if it's worthy of them pushing it like they are!

A weekly deep conditioner has been in my rotation of hair products for almost as long as I can remember.  My hair is long, it's been colored, and I heat style it so Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair!  will be put to the test shortly.

Rounding out this month's box was a very wearable (and super flattering to blue eyes) bronze eye shadow from Doucce.  I received a single of "62 Kristi" which magnetically snaps right into one of their customizable palettes.  Fingers crossed I like the formula and color payoff so I can build my own palette with some of their other shades!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

October Birchbox

This month's Birchbox is all about "reviving and restoring" and contained the following -

  • Madison Reed Nourishing Color-Enhancing Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Madison Reed Root Touch Up Sample Card
  • MAKE Silk Cream Lipstick in "Magnolia"
  • Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask
  • Hustle Butter Luxe
I've been toying with the idea of becoming a redhead for awhile now so I'm excited to see the products from Madison Reed.  I feel strongly that it was a serious oversight on God's part to make me a brunette, (I'm Irish, as white as whipped cream, and covered in freckles) so I'm taking these samples as further confirmation I should color my hair again. 

I'm extremely intrigued by the Hustle Butter Luxe.  It's a multipurpose cream that supposedly treats every skin issue from dryness to bug bites.  I'll definitely be reviewing this on an upcoming Love It, Like It, or Lose It post!

I'm loving the description of the MAKE Silk Cream Lipstick.  It's described as "vivid, saturated color that does double duty as a protective moisturizing treatment."  Unfortunately "Magnolia" is a "medium-violet" shade that is most definitely not a color I'll wear, so this will be getting passed along to a friend.

I've used Tata Harper's Resurfacing Mask in the past and loved it so obviously I was delighted to see it in my box this month!  Smooth skin awaits!

Friday, October 14, 2016

So Choix October Samples

My October So Choix samples showed up in my mailbox today!  This month I focused entirely on my face.  A treatment serum, moisturizer, primer, and two foundations.  So Choix also included a bonus sample packet with my order which is something that they do from time to time.

In case you missed previous posts and are wondering, So Choix is a “personal makeup counter” where instead of receiving random samples every month, you get to pick exactly what brands/products/shades you want to try.  They allow you to order one sample at a time or to sign up for a subscription and receive 5 samples per month.

This month I chose –

- Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Recovery Complex II
- Guerlain Meteorites Oxygen Care Moisturizer & Radiance Booster
- Laura Mercier Blemish-Less Foundation Primer
- Chanel Ultrawear Flawless Foundation in “12 Beige Rose”
- Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick in “Alabaster”
- Bonus Sample – Chanel Le Blanc Multi-Use Illuminating Base

If you’d like to learn more about So Choix you can check out their FAQsor if you’d like to sign-up I’d be much obliged if you did so through my referral link!  Happy sampling!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Project: Recipe Cleanout - Chocolate Cake with Pudding Frosting

My daughter requested a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting for her birthday.  Baking this cake was somewhat of an adventure despite the fact that I’ve probably baked close to one hundred cakes previously.  Both of my daughters were in the kitchen helping measure this or adding that, and after we put the pans in the oven and were cleaning up, I grabbed the sugar canister to put it back in the cabinet and  thought, “Sugar...  I don’t recall asking anyone to measure out sugar.  Shoot.”  So, the half-baked cakes came out of the oven to cool, were tossed in the trash, and we started over.  I decided it was good lesson for my daughters to learn -  the importance of carefully reading and double-checking a recipe.

This is the first recipe from my binder that is part of my Recipe Cleanout project.  This is a cake recipe that I’ve had on file for years but have never gotten around to making until now.  It receives very high ratings on Hershey’s website so I had high hopes. The only adjustment I made for the cake batter was to use coffee in place of the water.  (Coffee enhances the chocolate flavor in recipes in case you weren’t aware.)   Then, instead of their frosting  I decided to pair it with a delicious but simple frosting recipe that I've been making for eons.  I used chocolate pudding for this recipe, but it’s great with other flavors (like vanilla and Oreo) as well!

True to my Project: Recipe Cleanout commitment, I’m letting you know that this is not the best ever chocolate cake as the multitude of 5 star reviews would lead you to believe.  It looked beautiful out of the oven and it’s super moist, but the flavor of the cake by itself is just sort of “meh”.  The frosting is what made it delicious overall (and I’m wondering if their frosting too is the reason for the great reviews.)

Since the cake was a bit of a let down I won't be posting the recipe here.  The recipe for the super simple and versatile pudding frosting I will share though!  It's the perfect frosting for cake or brownies, as a dip for animal or graham crackers, and as a layer in pudding pies or trifles!

Easy Pudding Frosting
1 - 3.9oz box instant pudding mix
1c milk
1 - 8oz tub whipped topping, thawed
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together pudding mix and milk by hand for two minutes.  Allow pudding to set and thicken for 5 minutes.  Whisk in whipped topping.

Makes enough frosting for a 2-layer cake.  Refrigerate any leftovers.

(Cake recipe reviewed here was slightly adapted from Hershey's . Pudding frosting recipe is my own.)

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Wal-Mart Fall Beauty Boxes

Wal-Mart's seasonal beauty boxes are an insane value at only $5 each.  I subscribe to both the "Classic" and the "Trendy" boxes and also subscribe my teenage daughter to the "Trendy" box.

This season's "Classic" box -

The "Classic" box is geared toward women 30-35+ and this time around contained the following items:
  • Swisspers Exfoliating Cotton Rounds (full-size)
  • Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream
  • Eucerin Eczema Relief
  • Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Repair Lotion
  • Dove Purely Pampering Moisturizing Body Wash
  • Vitabath Moisturizing Bath & Shower Gelee
  • Dove Advanced Care Cool Essentials Anti-Perspirant Deodorant
  • Village Naturals Aches+Pains Nighttime Relief Bath Soak
  • Simple Micellar Cleansing Water (sample)
This Season's "Trendy" box -

The "Trendy" box is geared towards the needs of typically younger women, though I still find most of the products to be relevant to my 30-something self. My daughter also receives this box and we enjoy swapping out and trading items. This time around we received the exact same items so I didn't see the point of taking yet another picture of the same box.  Usually though, we will receive slightly different products because she's in a different age bracket.  For example, I'll receive a Pantene hairspray while she'll receive Aussie. Or I'll get an Olay Regenerist skincare item and she'll get Neutrogena for oil control, but then we'll both have the same toothpaste, body wash, deodorant, etc.
Fall's "Trendy" box contained:
  • Hello Extra Whitening Toothpaste
  • Nature's Bounty Hair, Skin, & Nails Gummies (sample)
  • Clean & Clear Deep Action 60 Second Shower Mask
  • EcoTools Makeup Brush Cleansing Cloth (sample)
  • Dove Purely Pampering Moisturizing Body Wash
  • Cetaphil Body Moisturizing Cream
  • Batiste Original Dry Shampoo
  • Biore Charcoal Pore Strips
  • Village Naturals Aches+Pains Muscle Relief Bath Soak
So there you have it - beauty boxes full of daily essentials at marvelous price!  Can't wait to see what will be in the Winter boxes!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Dump and Done Ramen Salad

The second recipe I prepared from Chrissy Teigen’s book Cravings is her Aunt Debby’s Dump and Done Ramen Salad.  It's very similar to the traditional ramen noodle salad made with coleslaw mix that many of us have eaten at picnics a hundred times, but this one I like better for a couple of reasons.  1 – I think the broccoli slaw holds up better in dressing.  (I was still enjoying the leftovers on day three whereas the coleslaw version would’ve been a soggy mess by the second day.)  2 – The addition of extra veggies...  Extra veggies means extra healthy, which means you should eat multiple servings.  Right?  Right.

You absolutely should make this for your next Potluck or family barbecue!  Super easy to throw together,  full of veggies, and just plain delicious.  It was the perfect accompaniment to a brat and baked beans.  And then perfect again by itself as a quick lunch the next day!

Dump and Done Ramen Salad
3 - 3oz packages chicken flavored ramen noodles
1 - 12oz package broccoli slaw
1/2c red onion, thinly sliced
1c frozen peas
3/4c frozen corn
1/2c sugar
1/3c oil
1/2c apple cider vinegar
1c roasted and salted sunflower seeds
Crush the ramen noodles into a large bowl and set the seasoning packets to the side.  Mix in the broccoli slaw, onion, peas, and corn. 
In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the sugar, oil, apple cider vinegar, and seasoning packets.  Microwave on high for 1 minute.  Stir well and pour over the slaw mixture.  Toss until combined.  Refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight.
Toss in the sunflower seeds just before serving.
Note - The salad will lose some of it's crunch by the second and third day (if it lasts that long!)  If you're making it for a smaller group and anticipate leftovers, only set out half the salad and mix in half the sunflower seeds.  The remaining sunflower seeds will add back in some of the lost crunch to the leftover salad the next day.
Recipe adapted from Cravings