Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Must-Try Recipe: Pumpkin Muffins!

Hey guys! Today I'm going to be giving you an awesome-fantabulous recipes for pumpkin muffins. They're perfect for holidays or for whenever a pumpkin craving hits. They're unbelievably easy since they use only two ingredients. Yes, TWO ingredients! You'll get tasty muffins that are surprisingly moist. And they smell like frosting and taste like cake, yummm!


Hooray for snowman tableclothes!

All you need is one 15oz can of pumpkin and one box of yellow cake mix. That's it. Really! Mix both together well--you don't want any little cake mix "pellets" :) I didn't have any muffin liners but a good coat of Pam will prevent the dough from sticking to your muffin tin.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool and dig in!

Recipe yields about 15 muffins.


These were all gone by the next day!

These would be suuuuper good with cream cheese frosting or butter!


Look at that delicious-ness!


Definitely try this, you won't be disappointed!


Recipe from Sweet Verbena

Thursday, December 8, 2011

No-Heat Dolly Curls!

Hey guys! So my hair is nearly impossible to curl--I can only get it to hold after about a full can of hairspray. But when I tried this no-heat tutorial by YaYaLifestyle, which you can watch here, I was surprised at the results: perky, bouncy curls!!



It's a really simple process. Slightly dampen your hair (you can use water, but I used my Infusium 23 leave-in treatment). Go light, you don't want your hair to be dripping wet. Otherwise, your hair won't dry overnight and hold the curls.

Next, section out your hair into two or three sections. I actually did mine in four because my hair is so thick and has lots of layering.

Taking one section and a clean sock (yes, a sock), begin wrapping your hair around the sock, rolling up to your roots. Tie the ends of the sock together and pull firmly--you don't want the knot to fall out while you sleep. Don't pull too hard though, you don't want to damage your hair!

Repeat until all of your hair is tied up and then let it dry overnight. Then, in the morning, just untie all the socks and unwind your new pretty curls! These hold surprisingly well on their own, but you can spray with hairspray for extra staying power.

In case you're skeptical, I have done this multiple times before with the same results :)

Oops, upside down :)

Let me know if you try this out! I'd love to see pictures!

Battle of the Brands: Twist-Up Eyeliner

Hey guys! Today I'm going to be doing a combination product review/battle of the brands comparing the Rimmel Exaggerate Waterproof eyeliner, Maybelline Unstoppable eyeliner, and Covergirl Perfect Point Plus eyeliner. All three liners are similar in price and are twistable liners with a similar amount of product, so I thought a product comparison would be fun to do.

As I said, these are all similar products. They have the same twist-up action and the same amount of product. Both the Rimmel and Covergirl liners have a smudger on the bottom (which I don't use), and the Rimmel's smudger pulls off to reveal a sharpener (which I do use). The Rimmel and Maybelline have the same twist-up action, while the Covergirl sort of clicks up when you twist it, limiting the amount of product you can expose.

Here are their points (L-R: Rimmel, Maybelline, Covergirl). Both the Rimmel and Maybelline liners have the same thickness on top (in the picture, the Maybelline is sharpened). The Covergirl is slightly thinner and more fine-tipped.

Here they are swatched (Top-Bottom: Rimmel, Maybelline, Covergirl). The Covergirl liner appears the most opaque and has the deepest black color, followed by the Maybelline and then Rimmel.

Here I rubbed them out to see how they blend. As You can see, the Maybelline blended the best, followed by the Rimmel and then Covergirl. This could be both good and bad. Easy blendability usually means that smudging is more likely to occur, but it also helps when you're going for a smoky look.

Finally, I rubbed the liner with water to see how they held up. The Maybelline surprisingly held the best, followed by Rimmel, then Covergirl. I was a little disappointed with the Rimmel since it's supposed to be water-resistant.

Overall, I would declare Maybelline the winner. It has great pigmentation, good opacity, blends easily, and is the most water-resistant. I think the Rimmel and Covergirl liners tie for second. I like Covergirl's better color and the finer tip, but I also like Rimmel's blendability and the fact that it comes with a sharpener.


Let me know which liner you prefer! I hope this helps you with your next hunt through the beauty aisle!

Monday, December 5, 2011

November Favorites!

Hey guys! Today I'm giving you my favorite things for the month of November!

I haven't been wearing a lot of makeup to class this semester since I have to get up super early everyday, and just can't muster the strength to put makeup on. However, when I do wear something its usually a pretty simple look. I've been loving the Wet n Wild Coloricon palette in Greed this month. All the colors are soft and creamy and are super pigmented. They also blen beautifully. Usually, I'll put the middle-left color (a matte peachy-orange) all over the lid and blend the bottom-right color (a shimmery dark grey) lightly into the crease--I like using the grey instead of a black shadow for a day look because its a lot less harsh. I use the top-left shade (matte khaki color) as a highlight.
I also am in love with my ELF Cream liner in Black. Its so smooth and long-lasting! I usually tightline using the liner with a small angled brush before smudging a bit along the upper lashline. This is great for the waterline too!

I love neutral lips. It's probably my go-to more so than any of my bright lipsticks and glosses. Unfortunately, both of my favorites this month are discontinued products. I'm so disappointed that they're no longer sold, I love them so much! One of my all-time favorite neutral lipsticks is Rimmel Lasting Finish in Birthday Suit. It's a lovely caramel color that's very similar to my lip color (but with less pink tones) and goes on super smooth. The gloss that I've been pairing with the lipstick is the Hard Candy Plexi Gloss in Nude. It's a nice smooth gloss, with little stickyness and a little bit of pigment. I love how these two look together!


My favorite scent of the month has been Bath and Body Works' Paris Amour. The scent is a blend of French tulips, pink champagne, and apple blossoms. It's so romantic and girly. I'm so obsessed with it that I have the fragrance mist, shimmer mist, mini lotion, and body gel! Ugh, amazing!


When it comes to hair care, my hair is a pain in the butt. I have very long, thick, wavy hair that's prone to split-ends and dryness. The thing with wavy hair is that you often get an oily scalp and dry ends (so true!) and you can usually go two or three days between washings (also true). Because it gets so dry, I use long-hair formula shampoo and conditioner, plus a conditioning treatment everytime I shower, and then a leave-in treatment. I use the Herbal Essences Long-Term Relationship shampoo and conditioner (which I don't love nor hate), and the Aussie 3-Minute Miracle Moist deep conditioner (Love!).
But my true favorite this month has been my leave-in conditioner: the Infusium 23 Moisture Replenisher Leave-In Treatment. It's a milky colored liquid that you pour out onto your hands and work through damp hair. I usually leave my hair in a towel for about 15 minutes or so before taking it down and putting this through it, concentrating on the ends. I never put hydrating stuff on the top of my head because the extra moisture will make your scalp greasy and gross. I also like to twist my hair into a bun and squirt the Infusium into the bun--this works well to distribute more product!
You can find Infusium 23 products at Walmart and CVS.

Songs on Repeat:
"Sexy and I Know It"~LMFAO
"Part Rock Anthem"~LMFAO
"Royal T"~Crookers ft. Roisin Murphy
"Blanco"~Pitbull
Supermassive Black Hole~Muse
Uprising~Muse
Honky Tonk Badonkadonk~Trace Adkins

Other favorites this month:


  • Scunci hair clips--to get that hair out of my face!

  • Shimmery, sparkly nail polish (silver and chamagne shades are so winter!)

  • The Mummy Returns (I've watched it about 5 times this month!)

  • Nutella!!--Gads, is there anything better?

  • Coke Zero (I'm addicted!)

  • Hockey!! Golden Gophers are number one in the WCHA!! Go Gophers!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

ELF Wrinkle Refiner

Product review time! This review is on yet another ELF product, the newly released Wrinkle Refiner. I picked this up during a sale on the ELF website to see if it would do anything for the little wrinkles on my lower lid and my slowly emerging crow’s feet. Gahh, wrinkles!!

Claim: “Instantly smooth, soften and virtually fill in laugh lines, crow’s feet and wrinkles for a flawless finish. Key ingredients draw in moisture to smooth and plump delicate skin for a rejuvenated and youthful look. The rich blend of Wheat Protein, Horse Chestnut, Caffeine, Edelweiss, Chamomile, Shea, Mango and Vitamins A & E retexturize skin and prevents future damage and premature aging.”
First Impression: Hmm, same packaging as the Radiance Enhancer.


The wrinkle refiner comes in a twistable container with a rubber slant-tip applicator. The applicator is super soft and doesn’t pull on the skin. The product itself is a grayish-white gel which has a slight scent to it. It blends into the skin easily and you can actually see the smoothing effect happen almost instantly. It’s like using the blur tool from Photoshop on your skin. However, this effect doesn’t last.


Before and After (no retouching at all!)

After applying my face primer, I used the Wrinkle Refiner under my eyes and on the outer corners. Within minutes, my skin appeared baby smooth and felt plump and healthy. However, after I applied my foundation and concealer, and was applying my face powder, I noticed that my under eye area was starting to wrinkle! In just minutes, the creases around my eyes looked even worse than they normally do! I actually had to remove all the makeup from around my eyes and start over because it looked so bad.

I have played with this multiple times since I’ve bought it, and have had the same results each time: nice smoothness then wrinkled mayhem. I really wanted this product to work, but unfortunately, it was a fail for me. I’m going to give this 2 out 5 stars instead of just 1, only because I’ve seen reviews where it did work for other people. I won’t be repurchasing this anytime soon, and I don’t think I’ll ever recommend it to anyone. Sorry, ELF!

What do you think?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Funky French Nail Tutorial!

Woo, my first nail tutorial! I'm pretty excited to show you guys this because it's a really easy way to make your nails look fabulous. It'll look like you did a lot of work, but its actually pretty simple. Let's go!



What you will need:
Base/Top Coat
2 Different colored nail polishes (I chose one dark and one light; make sure the color you are putting on your tips is opaque with one coat!)
Tape

First, paint your nails with your base coat (I use Sally Hansen Extreme Wear Invisible) and allow to completely dry. Then, take your lighter nail polish and paint a nice even layer--don't worry if it's slightly sheer near the tip, the darker polish will cover it). Allow to dry completely. If the paint doesn't dry all the way, the tape will pull it off!

You're going to want to do this one nail at a time!! When your nails are completely dry, take a small piece of tape and lay it at an angle on your nail. Press it firmly to the nail and make sure there are no bubbles or spaces. Also press firmly around the cuticle area. You don't want the polish to leak and smudge all over the place!

Take your darker polish and paint over the tip of your nail. This doesn't have to be completely neat since the tape will remove the excess polish.

Now just pull off the tape and Wa-la! Repeat this one each nail, or you could do this just on your ring finger for an accent nail.
Let nails dry fully and add your favorite top coat!

Wasn't that easy?
I can't tell you how many times I got complimented on my nails. Its so pretty, and its a nice, trendy twist you can add to your favorite French manicure.
If you try this out, send me a picture on Twitter. I'd love to see it!


Products used:
Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear in Invisible (base and top coat)
Wet n Wild Wet Shine in Metallica (beautiful metallic silver)
Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear in Blue It (shimmery royal blue...Love!)

Midnight Barbie

Hey guys! I have a new night time look for you guys: Midnight Barbie! This look was inspired by an old Xsparkage video from a year or so ago. It’s a nice pink and black smoky eye with some tricked out liner, perfect for a fun night out on the town!



I began by priming my lids with a white based primer before packing on a shimmery pink shadow all across the lid, up to the crease, using a patting motion. I next took a shimmery grey shade and popped it in the inner corner and blended it into the crease, blending up until just below the brow. I deepened the crease with a matte black shadow to add some texture and define the eye more. I extended the black out until the end of the brow creating a shadowy cat eye. With a matte white shadow, I blended it along the top of the black shadow under the brow to soften the line and act as a highlight.



I then took a black cream liner as close to the lash line as possible and flicking it out at the end. I then took the liner along the lower lash line, avoiding the water line, and flicking it out at the end, but in a downward direction. With a smudge brush, I carefully smudged the liner before setting it with the black shadow.



I added another wing just below the second one, creating three wings, one pointed up and two down. Between the upper two wings, I popped a bit of the white shadow and blended outwards. Between the two lower wings, I added some of the pink shadow, blending outwards. Finally, I added some more of the white underneath the last wing, blending out.



I finished the look with two coats of mascara on top and one on bottom.


I’m very happy with this look and will most definitely be sporting it in the future. What do you guys think?



Products used:
ELF Eyelid primer in Pearl
ELF Glitz n Glam duo (from the Get the Look: Glitz n Glam collection)—pink and grey shadows
ELF Matte eye shadow in Charcoal
ELF Cream liner in Black
Unfortunately I don’t remember what white I used, but any matte white will work
L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black mascara

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Holly Jolly Holiday Tag!!

It's December! I can't believe how fast November flew by, sheesh! Can you believe that just last week it was Thanksgiving? My God!

Anyways, it's Christmas time!! I saw amberlights20 do this tag on Youtube, so I decided to get into the holiday spirit and kick off December with a holiday tag!


1. Favorite Christmas Movie? I love Christmas movies with a passion! I can't narrow it down to one, but the ones that I watch every single year are Christmas Vacation, A Christmas Story, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the animated version!).

2. Are you on the Naughty list or the Nice list? haha probably the Naughty list :)

3. Show us an embarrassing Christmas Card photo! Unfortunately, my family doesn't send Christmas cards. I don't think we've ever sent one. Ever.

4. Have you ever had a White Christmas? I live in Minnesota, 'nuff said.

5. Where do you usually spend your holiday? I'm usually at home with the family. Sometimes we go to my grandma's or one of my aunts', but usually we stick at home.

6.Play or Sing your favorite Christmas Song! My two absolute favorite Christmas songs are Carol of the Bells and Baby, It's Cold Outside. Love!!

7. Do you open any presents on Christmas Eve? We have a family tradition where everyone gets to open one present on Christmas Eve, and we all pick for each other.

8. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, Rudolph!

9. What holiday tradition are you looking forward to most this year? FOOD!! For Christmas dinner we always have Steak and Crab. And my dad and I buy a box of Russel Stover French Mints every single year since they're only available around the holidays. Yummmm!!!

10. Is your Christmas tree real or fake? When I was little we used to get real ones, but then we got pets that liked to pee on it! Now we have a fake one.

11. Hands down, what's your all-time favorite holiday food and holiday sweet treat? Gah! How to choose? My 3 all-time faves are Ginger Crinkles, Fudge made from scratch, and Andes Mint Cookies.

12. Be Honest: do you like giving gifts or receiving gifts better? Ummm...receiving :/ terrible I know

13. Show us your tackiest Christmas attire (ex: Ugly Sweater) I have steadfastly avoided the whole ugly sweater thing. Maybe next year...

14. What would be your dream place to visit for the holiday season? Oh God, I'd love love looove to go to New York or Paris for the holidays! Ugh, so gorgeous!

15. Does your family have a special holiday recipe you like to help make? I usually help my mom with the Christmas goodies. I'm sort of her assistant--I put the food on the pan, switch the pans when the timer goes off, put stuff on cooling racks, etc.

16. Are you a pro-present wrapper, or do you fail miserably? I'm crap at wrapping. I'm the one who wraps stuff in tissue paper and shoves it into a gift bag :)

17. Most memorable Holiday moment? This isn't really a moment since it happens every year, but my favorite thing to do is watch holiday movies with my dad. We always watch Christmas Vacation and A Christmas Story--we laugh at the same parts, and my dad has the greatest laugh.

18. What made you realize the truth about Santa? My mom told me when I was in third grade. I'm pretty sure I cried.

19. Do you make New Years Resolutions? Do you stick to them? I usually avoid resolutions since I know I'd never follow them.

20. What makes the Holidays special for you? It's a time to go home and spend time with the people you love. You get to eat good food, have a lot of laughs, and have a nice long break from school!


Alrighty, that's all of them! I hope you enjoyed this tag, and I tag all of you to do it, too! Happy Holidays, and I'll see you in my next post!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Black Friday Haul!!! DVD Heaven!

Welcome to part 2 of my Black Friday haul! In this post, I'll be showing you everything I scored at the Walmart Black Friday sale that started 10pm Thursday. My mom, brother, and I staked out the DVD section at 9pm. We spent the next hour standing guard over the movies we wanted while making alliances with other shoppers (I'll grab this if you'll grab that). The mob grew quickly and all we heard was "Attention Walmart Shoppers" before all hell broke loose.

We gnabbed all the movies we could before retreating to the Cosmetics aisle (no people!). Then, we went through everything we grabbed, deciding which we actually wanted, and which ones I would buy--since I'm building my own collection separate from my parents', I thought this would be an opportune moment to contribute.

In the end, I bought 7 DVDs for 2 bucks each. Accidently, my mom bought 2 of my other picks, so I got those basically for free.

Check it!



What I was most excited for were these three movies--the Mummy series! I simply love these movies, albeit the third one (Ugh), so I just had to get these first. My absolute favorite of the three is the Mummy Returns, which I've rented about 6 times since the semester started!



I also got some chick flicks while I was there: He's Just Not That Into You, the Ugly Truth, and the Notebook. I bought the last two and my mom got the first one on accident. I just watched the Ugly Truth yesterday since my roommate hadn't seen it yet. And I'm excited to watch the Notebook again, although it's guaranteed that I'm going to cry.



Unleashed is a movie I've been wanting to see for a while. I saw the trailer while waiting for a different movie to start and thought it seemed interesting. Unfortunately, it proved elusive at my movie rental stores. When I saw it in the $2 section, I just had to get it. I watched it today, and I really enjoyed it--I see a review in this movie's future!



And finally, a great find on my mom's part, GLEE!!! I'm a hardcore Gleek so I was super excited to know this was on sale! This is the complete 1st season, and has 6 discs. I can't wait for a Glee-a-thon!!


I also got a mini food processor for 3 bucks. Awesome deal! We'll see if it works...


*~*Bonus*~*

I decided to add this little present to my haul. I've been obsessed with the Bath & Body Works scent, Twisted Peppermint, ever since I bought the PocketBac. It smells soo good! Well, I was checking out the BBW website before the Black Friday sale, and I kept coming back to the 3-wick candle. My mom noticed, and decided to give me one of my Christmas presents early: the candle!!

It smells so freaking good, like peppermint frosting! And it came with a free holder which is winter-themed. Love!




This is probably one of my favorite holiday scents, along with Apple Wreath.

So pristine and white!

Snowflakes!!

Black Friday Haul!! Bath & Body Works

Black Friday!!! Believe it or not, this year was actually my first year to ever take part in a Black Friday event, namely, the 10pm Walmart sale on Thursday. However, this post will be a Black Friday from one of my all time favorite stores: Bath and Body Works! They had some great deals (buy 3, get 3 free; stackable coupons) and a great gift bag that you could purchase for just $20 after spending $40.



Here we go!

Taking full advantage of the BOGO offer, my mom, sister, and I all got some new items. Their purchases included 2 body lotions (Dark Kiss and Sensual Amber), a fragrance mist (Black Amethyst), and a hand soap (Winter Cranberry) with a fancy-schmancy silver cover. My picks definitely ran to the fruitier/flowery side.

My first pick was a shower gel in Paris Amour, one of my fave BBW scents. I already have a mini lotion, the fragrance mist, and the shimmer mist, and I was in need of a body wash and thought, why not? This scent just came out this last August, and is made up of a blend of French tulips, apple blossoms, and pink champagne. It’s the absolute perfect sweet blend of flowers and fruit, with a touch of sexiness added by the champagne notes. Love!



The next thing I picked up was a Japanese Cherry Blossom intense moisture body butter. Yumm!! This is one of BBW’s best-selling scents, and, unbelievable, I used to hate it! I couldn’t stand the smell of it in high school, but last year, I discovered a love of it. I have the Select-A-Shimmer product, which is a fusion of a body lotion and a shimmer gel with a dial that lets you decide the lotion-to-shimmer ratio you want, and I finished off a mini body butter last spring. The scent smells strongly of cherry blossoms (obviously!) with a hint of something woody, like sandalwood. It’s a very earthy, yet sexy scent.



Next, I picked up a moisturizing hand soap for my apartment. Christmas is coming up soon, and I thought it’d be nice to have a themed soap to go with the season. The scent I chose was Apple Wreath, which I already have the PocketBac of. This soap is a nice blend of green apple, apple cider, and pine with a hint of cinnamon; the ultimate Christmas scent!



The thing I was most excited for was the awesome gift bag. A $103 value, this bag was available for only 20 bucks! Yay! The bag consisted of a black tote with a zebra-print interior, filled with a bunch of full-sized products. Attached to the bag was a silver jingle bell, and a Mistletoe Kiss PocketBac (smells like legit holly and berries) in a sparkly-red PocketBac Holder. Inside were two makeup bags: one med-large zebra-print (which my sister took) and one med red giraffe-print (which I claimed). There was also a light pink loofah, which I gave to my sister.




Now for the products!

The bag included 3 items from the new scent collection, Be Enchanted: shower gel, body lotion, and shimmer mist. In August, I bought the $1 sample-size lotion and really liked it (and my mom gifted me another one when I got home for the holidays, ha). Be Enchanted is a sugary scent with a touch of tartness, consisting of pomegranate and sugared flower petals. Yum! Of the 3 products, I decided to keep the shower gel and the lotion, and my sister claimed the shimmer mist.



Next was a body lotion from the Aromatherapy line called Sleep – Night Time Tea. Sleep contains a mix of white water lily, malachite, cedarwood, and orange essential oils. Personally, I’m not a fan. I’m not too partial towards herbal scents, so I was more than happy to give this to my mom when she asked.



Also in the bag was a foaming hand soap in Mistletoe Kiss. A blend of sweet orange, mandarin, cinnamon, and vanilla, this smells astonishingly just like mistletoe. Unfortunately, it’s not my kind of smell, so it has been relegated to my parents’ house.



The last two items consist of a sparkly-lilac pump (probably to put in the body lotion) and a lip gloss. The lip gloss is in Cranberry Kiss, a part of the Liplicious All I Want holiday line, and is a super shimmery melon-rose color. It smells exactly like cranberries, isn’t sticky, and tastes delicious. Win!



Overall, I’m super excited to use everything. I’ve used all these types of products before and wasn’t disappointed. If you guys want reviews on any of these products, or of other BBW products, just let me know. I will most likely be doing a BBW collection post around the end of the year, giving you guys a chance to see some of my favorite products and scents.

Stay tuned for the rest of my Black Friday haul!