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Travel Cosmetics -How to pack

19 Mar

Whenever I travel I always try to pack a little better than I did the time before. And important group of items I carry is of course, cosmetics. From face wash to mascara, these items can get pretty bulky and cumbersome if you aren’t careful. This post lists items I typically take on a trip and how I pack for minimum space usage.


Some of the cosmetics I travel with

A major tip for packing you travel cosmetics is mini. If you can get every item in mini size that would be perfect. Most supermarkets and beauty stores sell minis of many items. For those things you can’t get a mini version of, invest in some mini travel pots and bottles.

FACE AND BODY

These are the essentials.The things you might need along the way on your trip. The things you don’t want to leave home without. Packaging these first.

○ Toothbrush and toothpaste 

○ Mouthwash

○ Deodorant (Secret)

○ Face/body wash(Cetaphil)

● Daily moisturizer(Oil of Olay Daily moisturizer)- I squirting a few days worth into a travel size container.

● Hand cream(BBW Black cherry merlot)

● Sunblock(Coppertone)

● Cleansing wipes(Wetones)

HAIR

○ Hairspray by Rave

○ Hair moisturizer by Garnier

○ Dry shampoo-I hardly ever wash my hair on short trips (I havethick, curly natural hair prone to dryness) so I don’t pack shampoo or conditioner but I do pack dr6 shampoo to keep things clean.

○ Hair gel by Tre Semme

MAKEUP

As tough as it may be, you have to use extreme discretion and only pack what you need. Think of all the makeup items you typically wear on an everyday basis to decide what to take.

● Foundation (Maybelline fit me matte and poreless in coconut)

● Eyeshadow palette (NYX Natural) – A fairly compact palette with enough shades to create multiple looks is ideal

● Blush (Milani American Rose)- A blush that will likely match your eye and lip colours.

● Lip colour (Milani Confident matte) – One that will go well with your eye colours

● Mascara (Too Faced Better than Sex)

● Brown pencil(ABH Brow definer in dark brown)

● Eye liner(Kat von D tattoo liner in Trooper)

● Setting mist(NYX matte)

● Rollerball perfume(Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb)- These are perfect for travel because they don’t spill.

○ Brushes- pack them in a flat brush holder like this or in a thin cosmetic case.

PACKING

I legit pack most of my cosmetics in a massive zip lock bag. Why? Because it holds a lot, it’s clear so it’s cool to go through airport security and if it gets messed up with spilt product you can bin it when you’re finished. 

Everything laid out



Packing things this way also save space because you can lay it flat on top of your clothing.

All packed up

Thanks for reading, happy travels and have an awesome day!

A few Spring things

12 Mar

A few Spring things

Happy spring! So even though the Spring Equinox isn’t until March 20th,  today is the day where clocks spring forward, so technically it’s spring right. I should also add that I do not live in a temperate climate so technically these seasons aren’t experienced where I am but it doesn’t stop me from totally getting excited about this time of year.

I decided to do a post sharing some things I have been recently enjoying and plan to continue doing so into the upcoming spring season. The items aren’t spring themed, just happen to be living them right now.


MAKEUP


Sweet Peach palette by Too Faced

This palette is a re-release from Too Faced, originally being a limited edition but now added to the right permanent line and massively expanded to include highlighters, blush and lip colours. This was a surprise favourite for me because initially I was unimpressed. Quite a few beauty bloggers/vloggers expressed disappointment with the palette and I was genuinely turned off. I actually walked into Sephora to purchase an entirely different palette a few weeks ago and just glanced over at this one. I switched the colours and I was hooked. 

Packaging

The packaging is the standard Too Faced metal palette that closes magnetically. It is ombre peach coloured with raised peaches across it. This actually makes it a bit difficult to stack with other flat palettes.

Product 

This palette costs $49 US and it contains 18 shadows each 0.95g .There are 5 matte shares all in neutral colours that I think can work for any skin tone. The rest of the palette is comprised of satiny and shimmers in corals, coppers and purples as well as an olive shade and a shimmery black shade.

Impression

For me, I love this palette. I can create complete looks with it alone including a completely neutral look (but why would you want to with all these awesome shades) 

Moda Makeup Brushes

Moda face brushes

By now most of us who have an interest in makeup would have heard of the Artis makeup brushes. For those who haven’t , it’s a set of flat head high end makeup brushes. These brushes made their rounds in the beauty community last year but for many of us regular folk the price was just too high. Then came the dupes.There are more than a few companies who have fashioned their version of the Artis makeup face brushes charging a pretty penny for them too. Then came Moda. This brand has been steadily making a name for itself as a brightly coloured, affordable, decent quality drugstore makeup tools line. I first knew of this brand of face brushes through Emmy Noel, one of my favourite beauty YouTubers. She gave them her stamp of approval and that was all I needed to hear. This set of four brushes goes for around $15 US at Walmart and is by far the cheapest I have seen any of these brushes yet.

Style

These are paddle head brushes compared to your typical makeup brushes with very densely packed fires. The colour is awesome resembling a cross between oil slick and mermaid skin on the handles and unicorn hair for  the bristles. Honestly I was sold on the appearance alone.
Function

The largest brush is meant for foundation (liquid or creme). The second size is meant for blush and bronzer.  The third one is for contouring and the fourth and smallest is meant for concealer. Obviously you can use the  however you like. I find myself getting the most use out of the two larger ones. I appreciate applying my foundation with something different to a sponge. I also find I use less product when I use this brush to apply. The blush brush is the perfect size for blush application.

If you are interested in this style of makeup brushes but can’t or won’t splurge on the more expensive version, definitely give these a go.

Colour Switch


Color Switch by Vera Mona

This little tin here was a true game changer for me. A colour switch allows you to reuse the same makeup brushes in the same time frame i.e while creating the same look. I was going crazy trying to create a cute look and realising I didn’t quite have enough brushes to do it with. If I used my brush cleaner, the brush got wet and wouldn’t dry out in time.

Until

I got

Color Switch

This invention is genius. It is essentially a circular chunk of very  porous, hard sponge not unlike that found in aquarium filters. You rub the brush in circles to get off product. You can use both sides and wash it when it gets particularly dirty.

Milani Lip Color Remover

In this day and age where long wear matte lipsticks are a dime a dozen,  this little tube is a saving grace. It is the colour and consistency of a petroleum jelly lip gloss. This thing really works! Just put it on and remove using a bit of tissue and the lip color comes right off.

SKIN AND BODY CARE

Elf Hydrating Bubble Mask

E.l.f mask



While other drugstore brands are busy expanding their makeup line, e.l.f has done that and is now making a foray into affordable skin care. So far I’ve seen facial cleansers, masks, day and night time moisturizers. I picked this one up because I’ve been curious about bubble masks but didn’t want to buy an expensive one only to hate it. I don’t hate this. I have feelings opposite to hate for this. 

Packaging

The packaging with this skin care line is a real winner. It is in a pale aqua cylindrical tub set into frosted translucent hard glass making it look rather luxe. The product comes through a hole in the top via a pumping motion.

Product

The mask comes out as a clear almost greasy substance with a mild you citrus scent. Upon touching moist skin it becomes white and foamy but it takes about two minutes before it truly bubbles. Bubble masks feel weird. Lol. The sensation is tingly and feels as if I poured a Sprite onto my face. After use my face felt clean but not dry which is what the product promised.


Philosophy Pink Marshmallow Buttercream shower gel

Shower gel

Philosophy makes intensely scented bath and body products. Whatever the scent is on the bottle is EXACTLY what it smells like.This can be used as shower gel, bubble bath or shampoo. It lathers well and leaves a gentle lingering scent on your skin. What I love about Philosophy products like this is that they print actual recipes on the front of the bottles to go along with the fragrance. I picked this one up from T.J Maxx and paid about $4 which is about half of the original price  (according to T.J. Maxx)


Body Shop Italian Summer Figure Body Cream


Cream

Yes, I am featuring a summer fig cream in a spring favourites post. This was another T.J.Maxx (my favourite off-price retail store) find and it was a good one. I paid $5US for mine but you can get it from The Body Shop for about $10. This cream comes in the traditional Body shop cream container and the graphics are clean and simple as with most body shop products. It smells delicious. It is rich and a little sweet with a fresh almost grassy undertone. It’s the type of scent that makes you constantly sniff your hands (or foot or whatever body part you put it on). The consistency of the cream is soft and whipped and extremely moisturizing.


FRAGRANCE

Elizabeth and James Nirvana rollerballs 

Rollerballs



Elizabeth and James is a line owned by the prolific business savvy Olsen twins: Mary-Kate and Ashley.  The names come from two of their younger siblings and the Nirvana fragrances have become more and more popular. 

I previously used the Nirvana White as a fragrance sampler set I got from Sephora about a year ago. Since then I’ve been hooked. The Nirvana line now has four fragrances: E&J Nirvana White, E&J Nirvana Black, E&J Nirvana Rose and E&J Nirvana Bourbon.

These fragrances have something for everyone occasion. The White has a clean fresh daytime scent. Black is darker and more musky and great for evening to night. Rose is light and romantic and almost powdery, fantastic for day wear or a date night. Bourbon is my favorite. It does somewhat embody the essence of Bourbon. It has depth and a bit of sweetness. I prefer this for nighttime but it can work in the day as well.

 I purchased this set of four rollerballs from Sephora for $28 which is a bit of a bargain for rollerballs these days. I am into buying sample or travel sizes of items because it allows me to test something before committing to a full size as well as giving an opportunity to try many things at once.


BBW Tomato Vine Candle

Candle

This candle smells diVINE!  (get it?) Bath and body Works continues to grow their candle line exploring more sophisticated scents. This is one of those and what a great job they did. This candle smells earthy, green and a little bit tart. It is very fragrant and throws fairly well. This works well being burnt in the mid morning to early afternoon as well as a fragrant backdrop for an after dinner glass of wine.

Those are my spring favourites. Maybe something I featured is a favourite of yours or maybe you’ll want to test out some for yourself. Have an awesome day!

Healthy Snack- Chia Pudding Pots

26 Jan

Today’s recipe is an easy versitile one, so easy I almost feel guilty for calling it a recipe. This is chia pudding which is actually super trendy these days, something I didn’t realise until I decided to do this post. 

Chia Pudding Pots


FunFact: I used to work at a health food store way back in the day. I’m talking wayyyy back. I was a university student and the owner was a nutritionist. The name of her business was “Chia Seeds” . She explained to myself and all the others who would be working there that the chia seed was small but powerful. It had so many benifits for something so insignificant in appearance  (it was a bit of a life lesson too)
So what IS chia?

Chia is the seed of the chia plant which is a member of the mint family. The seed is very tiny, like sesame seed size and it is rich in nutrients including omega fatty acids, some vitamins and minerals. 

Chia seeds have long been popular among the “health food” set but recently has become far more mainstream making a massive debut on pinterest(lol). Chia seeds can be added to smoothies, health bars and cereals. However,  a notable property of chia seeds is the fact that they become swollen and gelatinous once exposed to liquid. This makes for a great puddding. A healthy, nutritious pudding. 

I will be making 3 variations of chia pudding today ; vanilla spice, chocolate and berry.But really the options are limitless.

WHAT YOU NEED  (for each)

1) 1/4 cup of chia seeds (I used black chia seeds , yiu can use white ones if you like)

2) 1/3 cup of vanilla almond milk (or whatever type of milk you prefer)

3) 1 tbsp of honey – add it to your preference

4) 1/4 tsp of assorted spices– I used cinnamon and nutmeg

5) 1 tbsp of cocoa powder

6) Assorted berries– I had strawberries and blueberries 

7) Containers for storage (I used small jelly jars but for more practicality you can use small resealable plastic containers)

8) Blender/Nutribullet 

Ingredients 

WHAT TO DO 

 Pour almond milk into container and add honey and mix.

Vanilla spice

1) Add chia seeds and spices then mix in well.

Add chia seeds and spices
Chocolate

3) Add cocoa powder and mix

Cocoa added




Berry blast

4) Chop fruit and add a few pieces to the mixture and stir.

Add fruit




5) In your blender/nutribullet etc blend the fruit with a bit of water forming a slurry.- I did it separately for visual effect.

Fruit slurry


6) Place your mixtures in the refrigerator and let them sit for a few hours,  until a gelatinous consistency is formed. I left mine overnight. 

Your treats are ready to eat!

Ready to eat


These are great healthy “to go” snacks that you can make long ahead of time. You can play around and try a multitude of flavours. These would also make an amazing dessert for a dinner party. It’s different but tasty.

The chia seeds become fluffy and gel like and it truly tastes like a pudding. The different additions all go well with it because the chia seeds lend to sweet flavours.

Definitely try this one and definitely have an awesome day! 

Garbanzo bean Stew

8 Jan

Today I bring you a dinner recipe of Garbanzo bean Stew served with roasted sweet potato.

Garbanzo bean Stew and sweet potato 




Garbanzo beans also called Chickpeas or channa are a great source of protein and starch. They are pretty versitile and can be used in cold salads, ground to make hummus or cooked into a delicious vegetable stew like this. 

Makes 2 servings 

WHAT YOU NEED 

1) 1 can of Garbanzo beans

2) 1 large tomato (diced)

3) 1/2 a medium onion(diced)

4) 2 cloves of garlic(sliced)

5) Approximately 2 cups of fresh spinach 

6) 1tbsp of paprika 

7) 1tbsp of yellow curry powder 

8) 1/2 tsp of all purpose seasoning 

9) 1 tbsp of Sriracha pepper sauce (or other spicy sauce)

10) 2tbsp of tomato sauce

11) 1 medium-large sweet potato


Unlike baking, where precision is key, cooking is very subjective.  Feel free to add more or less of something as you see fit. 

Ingredients 

Spices and sauces




WHAT TO DO 

Sweet Potato 

1) In a saucepan bring water to a rolling boil then add both halves of sweet potato.

2) Once cooked through,  drain water and allow to cool.

Boiled sweet potato 




3) Take a fork and plough the centre of the potatoes and sprinkle with seasoning. 

Add seasoning




4) Bake around 350 F for 10-15 minutes.

Baked potatoes


Stew

1) Add 1tbsp of butter to a medium heat frying pan and allow to melt.

2) Add garlic and onion and Sautee

Butter, garlic and onions




3) Add spices and continue to Sautee

Spices

4) Add garbanzo beans and allow them to Sautee for a few minutes. Be sure to continually stir and coat the beans with spices,  not allowing them to burn.

Beans added

5) Add tomatoes and mix

Tomatoes added




6) Add spinach and let it sweat down then mix

Spinach added



Spinach cooked down


7) Add tomato sauce and Sriracha and mix.

Sauces

8) Turn heat down to low and let it simmer until preferred consistency. 

Simmer

Plate stew and sweet potato and serve.

Finished meal

This meal came together by happenstance one evening and I’m so glad it did. The stew is hearty without being heavy and the potato is starchy and filling (in a healthy way) What I love about it is that this dinner is so effortless yet is so complex in flavour. This is a great dinner to have at the end of a long day either alone or with family and friends.

Have an awesome day 

DIY GIFT- SALT SCRUB

2 Dec

BLOG-Mas DAY 2

Welcome to day 2. Day 1 gave some ideas of gifts to give and today is the same except this is a DIY gift; a salt scrub. Salt and sugar scrubs are great, they are good for exfoliating and polishing the skin and the oils help moisturise. I did a previous blog post on sugar body and lip scrubs  but I wanted to try a salt scrub to compare.

The salt scrub I am making is a simple lime scrub, but of course you can add whatever fragrance and oils you wish. Some common ones I’ve seen include coconut and avocado. Just ensure they are skin safe.

WHAT YOU NEED

1) 1 cup of Salt- I chose table salt because it’s what I had  in my kitchen and I wanted a fine grain.You can also use sea salt which will have a more course  texture.

2) 1/2 cup Coconut Oil- Again, chosen because I had it but feel free to use your preferred oil.

3) Lime- For this I used both juice and zest. 

4) Zester or grater

Ingredients 

WHAT TO DO

1) Pour 1 cup salt into a bowl and add oil slowly, stirring until it reaches desired consistency.

Add oil until desired consistency 


2) Squeeze a slice of lime, I added about 1/4 tsp of juice as I didn’t want it too acidic.

3) Zest lime to create flecks within  scrub.

Zest lime




4) Mix together until homogeneous texture

Mix together




5)Place in jar and gift!

Lime salt scrub




Review

So upon making this, I of course had to test it out. It feels like bathing in a margarita (which for me is a good thing). I love that the salt grains are much finer than even granulated sugar and it feels more like polishing than scrubbing. Because I made it more liqiud, there was more oil residue which felt good over my elbows and other dry areas-  if you don’t like the residue add less oil. The lime adds a nice fragrance but you can use whatever you wish.

Cost

So let’s talk about cost. This is the problem with many DIY projects, by the time you buy all that you need, you could as well have gone in LUSH and bought a scrub there. For me, a worthwhile DIY should be cost effective or easier and of course, be more personal. This scrub costs less than  $1 in ingredients and the jar costs approximately $1 bringing the total cost to under $2 for a personal gift. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Be sure to try this out for a friend who loves hand made items or loves scrubs and have an awesome day!

Mushroom and Tomato Crostini

24 Aug

Hello

This quick and easy recipe is a budget friendly DIY hostess’ (or host’s) dream. These are based off of the Italian appetizer,  Crostini which is grilled bread topped with anything from cheese to vegetables.  I also considered calling them crosata , not so much because they resemble the open faced shallow tarts that go by that name but rather because I thought the word sounded cooler than crostini.

I used pita bread in this recipe from the same batch I used to make the recipe in my previous post : banana peanut butter pita. I love pita bread because it is affordable,  healthy compared to many other breads and extremely versitile.

The toppings I selected were tomatoes and mushrooms because I had them in the fridge and they happen to be some of my favorite foods.  ( hence why I had them in the fridge) Of course you add whatever topping you like.

Let us begin. 

WHAT YOU NEED (makes 6)

1) Pita bread-I got six 7cm (2.6 inch) diameter circular pieces out of 2 of the pitas.

2) Circular cookie cutter- you can attempt to cut them fee hand or use the entire pita then slice it into quarters.

3) 1 med-large Ripe tomato 

4) 3 med sized button mushrooms -you can also use canned mushrooms as they tend to be cheaper. 

5) Extra virgin olive oil 

6) Black pepper, cilantro and any other seasonings you like.

The main ingredients 




WHAT TO DO 

1) Cut the circles out from the  pita .

Cutting out circles




2) Smear on the olive oil onto the circles- this will allow the pita to get crispy.

Pita circles




3) Slice the tomatoes and  mushrooms. 

Sliced tomatoes 



Sliced mushrooms 




4) Arrange the tomatoes and mushrooms onto the pita circles and sprinkle any seasonings over the top.

Cilantro over tomato and black pepper over mushrooms 



Arranged and ready 




5) Bake at a medium heat utility the edges are crispy.

These little morsels are delicious,  the crunch of the pita a great contrast to the succulent mushrooms and tomatoes. The entire process from start to finish takes well under 1 hour and this is a super easy pain free recipe youcan throw together as an appetizer for guests or do what I did and eat them as snacks for the next couple of days. 

Enjoy and have an awesome day!

Sunny Summer Sweet Salad Pizza

7 Aug

Hello and happy Sunday

It’s proper summer right now meaning days are hotter than ever . The thought of summer time always evokes pinterest worthy visions in my mind…. fresh bright fun food, eaten by a poolside or hanging out on your deck, firepit on, citronella candles ablaze, everyone relaxed and laughing….ah yes, summer. 

Well this isn’t my reality, I live in a small apartment with a smaller balcony, no deck or firepit and I’m never relaxed. But I do have a citronella candle so I get one pinterest point there.

Anyhow, while perusing pinterest a few days ago looking for some meal inspiration I came across a delicious looking salad which in addition to the regular greens contained strawberries and was topped with balsamic vinegar. I am a super fan of mixing different tastes together e.g. sweet and salty and this made me excited. I decided to make this into a pizza because I always associate pizza with summer. This recipe takes a fresh summer salad and tosses it onto a crust.

Let us begin…

This salad pizza is made using watercress, strawberries and blue cheese as the main ingredients but really your imagination is your only limit to the toppings you use. You can use kale, arugula, add almonds or walnuts, swap the strawberries with blueberries etc.

WHAT YOU NEED 

1) Pita bread- I chose this for my crust because I think it adds to the overall aesthetic of the pizza, also pita bread is typically much cheaper than premade pizza crust and way less work than making your own. The ones I got are small and whole wheat .

Pile of pita bread

2) Watercress (rocket lettuce) 

3) Blue cheese crumbles

4) Fresh strawberries -the quintessential summer fruit

5) Greek yogurt

6) Honey

7) Extra virgin olive oil

8) Mint leaves

Strawberries,  blue cheese crumbles, watercress, Greek yogurt and mint leaves.

WHAT TO DO

1) Coat the pita bread with olive oil making sure to get the edges, this makes it crisp up nicely without getting burnt.

2) Place the watercress on top of the oiled up pita.

Watercress on top of pita

3) Add sliced strawberries (I used one medium sized one)

Sliced strawberries added

4) Sprinkle blue cheese on .

Sprinkled on blue cheese crumbles

5) Bake on oven until the cheese has melted and the pita looks browned.

6) Add Greek yogurt in small dollops over pizza.

7)Tear the mint leaves and add on top. ( I also put on a few more pieces of watercress and strawberry slices for a combination of textures.)

8) Drizzle honey across the top of the pizza.

Yogurt and honey added on top

So if I make something and post about it, it’s expected that I say it tastes “Oh so good!” . But, let me tell you. This. Tastes. Soooo. Good. The truth is that I was winging it most of the time. I didn’t know how these things would work out all mixed together. However,  it worked. It worked well. The strawberries are tart, the yogurt adds creamy surprising texture, the blue cheese pops and the mint is refreshing.  All of that on the background of the crispy pita and watercress made this delightful. This is a great as an appetizer or personal pizza.

I hope you try this and enjoy it. Have an awesome day!

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