Sunday, February 27, 2011

Aura Sheer Cheek Stain

Recently I was given the opportunity through Zuneta to review a new Hourglass product: Aura Sheer Cheek Stain.  I was really excited about trying it as I've never used a cheek stain and this experience would force me to use it. 

I first had to get over my intial fear of cheek stain.  I think the reason I've been so hesitant to try it is beacuse in my mind I pictured cheek stain = bright red cheeks.  (This is not the case).

Aura Sheer Cheek Stain in Rouge, while it looks quite pigmented and heavy on the applicator, is actually very light and sheer (hence the name).  I applied it by twisting the applicator to get enough out, then dabbing it on the apples of my cheeks, working upward.  I then used my fingertips to blend in.  I applied it for the first time yesterday morning, and I was so pleased with the way it looked: it made my face glow, gave me a bit of colour, but without the "made-up" look.  When I got home yesterday evening, I inspected the results: it lasted throughout the day, beautifully.  I tend to rub my face from time to time and it had not faded or rubbed off.  In fact, it looked just as pretty as when I applied it in the morning.

The verdict:  Another great product from Hourglass.  The colour is beautiful, it goes on beautifully sheer and it lasts!  It's also packed with Vitamin E which moisturizes the skin.

For a daytime look, I'd apply just the stain, however for a nighttime look, I'd either layer up on the cheek stain, or I'd sweep some powdered blush over the cheek stain.  My pick would be Super Orgasm by Nars.  I think the glow from the stain, combined with the gold glitter from the blush would be an amazing combination.

Aura Sheer Cheek Stain is available in 3 gorgeous shades: Flush, Petal, and Rouge for £32, exclusively on Zuneta.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Yummy Mummy

For a long time, I never liked having my nails painted.  One of the reasons had to do with the length of my nail bed: it’s quite long so even when my fingernails are cut short, with polish, my whole nail looks so long and when you add that to freakishly long fingers, it’s not very flattering.

Another reason was that I hated when nail polish faded/chipped and it seemed like the polish would only last for a couple of days before looking old and worn out. 

So even though I would have regular pedicures (having my toe nail polish changed every 2 weeks, I hardly ever did anything to my hands.  But over the past 8 months or so, I’ve embraced my freakishly long fingers and have been quite into painting my nails.   But, I had gotten quite bored with pale pinks, light creams or even clear nail polish, when I found a beautiful nude colour. 

Yummy Mummy by Butter London is a gorgeous, rich nude which is so perfect for day (or even night, with a glittery top coat!)
Some nude colours tend to turn a bit orangey on my skin, but this has a hint of pink and just looks beautiful. 

Another plus point is that Butter London polishes (like most OPI) are free from, carcinogens harsh chemicals, etc.  So while a bit on the pricey side (£12), I think it’s worth it.  It was my first time trying this brand and I’m very pleased.  Not only is the colour super rich, but I’ve been wearing the polish for about 4 days now and it still looks so fresh.
I can’t wait for my next colour to arrive: “No More Waity Katie.”

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My husband, the chef

I'm so lucky to have a wonderful husband. Not only is he sweet, gives great advice, makes me laugh with his awesome (read: corny) jokes and is incredibly good looking....but he also cooks! And that too, happily!

And while we do cook together and it is fun, it can also be a bit stressful.  We usually have "heated discussions" regarding measurement, salt, or olive oil*. 

BUT when he's in a kitchen by himself and working his magic, beautiful things appear. Things such as this Beef Wellington. I'd like to say he made the pastry from scratch, but alas, no. Maybe for the next time...

The recipe he used: Beef Wellington

*Why are some TV chefs (read: Jamie Oliver) so overzealous with the use of olive oil? I swear, the food is drenched in it: the starter, main, and probably dessert too!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sunday Morning

A perfect harmonization of Sunday morning breakfast.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Creative Stress Relief?

I unfortunately, was not born creative.  I can't draw or paint.  I can't sing or play an instrument (though I've been told by many that I have perfect fingers for the guitar and piano).  I used to write poems, some of which were even published in the local newspaper, but as I've gotten older, that talent seems to have vanished as well.

I do crave to be creative.  I do draw from time to time, but can only sketch whilst looking at my subject, never from imagination.  I've tried learning the piano and guitar, but given up much too easily.  And as my luck would have it, I'm married to a very creative man...someone who draws and designs buildings for a living, and someone who knows a thing or two about art.  This makes me, even more, want to be creative in some way. 

And this leads me to the title of my post: stress relief.  Some people work out, others cook or bake, some talk to their loved ones.  I, not only do the above, but have also started making cards.

It started out really randomly one summer evening and I discovered that I'm actually quite good at it (even my architect husband thinks so!) and when I'm stressed or upset, it helps calms me.  And so I've started giving out handmade cards to all my family and friends for whatever occasion it calls for.  My sister-in-law was so impressed that she asked me if I had sold any...while I don't think they're that good yet, it was very sweet of her to say so.

The only cards I did not give out where the ones I made for my co-workers for Christmas.  My loving husband decided to make fun of them, saying, "who says 'Enjoy the Season'?"  Making me feel a bit self conscious.  But my mom thought otherwise and gave the cards to her colleagues who told her the cards were beautiful :)

I can't wait for another day when I'm feeling stressed.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Let them eat cake!

I wanted to write this entry weeks ago, however life has been quite busy lately and I haven't been able to update my blog as much as I would like.  When I first started this blog, I had just moved to England and didn't have a job, and even then I found it hard to set time aside to write.  Now with a job, busy with friends and family, looking after the apartment, it's even harder!  I guess as a first time blogger, I didn't realize that you actually have to set aside time to collect your thoughts and write an entry.  It doesn't just happen when I have spare 15 minutes like I thought it would.

Anyways, back to my topic.  Cake.  I love it.  I've never met a cake I don't like.  Except once, when I tried fruit cake.  BLEGH.
I remember one birthday (2 years ago) my parents got me tiramisu instead of a birthday cake and  I was so disappointed.  That's how much I love cake.

Living in England has opened the doors to many kinds of desserts I didn't know about.  Stuff like panna cotta, pavlova, rhubarb crumble, victoria sponge, bakewell tart and mince pies isn't common where I come from.  However there are days, when I just want a slice of chocolate cake with buttercream icing (and an ice cold glass of milk).  In my experience, I've found that most cakes here are iced with fondant.  Whilst it looks beautiful, I miss the texture of traditional American frosting.

Cupcakes or rather fairy cakes, are quite popular.  I think the cupcake trend is growing and will become huge in the next couple of years, like it is in America.  Currently Stateside, there are many bakeries that specialize only in cupcakes and make all sorts of different flavors. I can see that starting in England, at least in Birmingham (maybe it's something that's already been done in London!)

But oh how I love cupcakes.  I love the fact they're small and bite[s] sized.  I love how I can have a couple of them and not feel guilty.  I love how they're easy to transport and easy to serve (I can't slice and serve cake to save my life).  So because of this, when some friends of ours where having a Halloween get together, I decided to contribute by bringing some homemade cupcakes.

Recipe can be found here.

I'm happy to say, they were devoured.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Missed a day...

Back in February, my mother-in-law, brought home these little guys:
They were so sweet and fluffy.  I loved having them sit on my lap as I watched TV.  Slowly they grew and were not so sweet anymore (or fluffy). **Disclaimer - I'm not anti chicken, it's just that sometimes they can be a bit moody.**

And before we knew it, they had grown into this:

Overall, they're fine.  They're a bit funny, and can be cute at times (not at  4AM when you're trying to sleep though.)  And the 2 hens (one is not pictured) started laying eggs as well; it is really nice having fresh, organic eggs every day. 
The laying has been going on for a few months, and every day, it never fails: we get 2 eggs.  But last week, my brother-in-law noticed that the chickens only gave one egg.  
Strange that one laid and the other didn't.  
The next day, we realized why it took the poor hen 2 days to get it out:

Far left: the egg that took 2 days.

Haven't decided if it's going to be fried, scrambled, or sunny side up.