Monday, March 24, 2014

Cult Cosmetics: Mad About Malibu Blackbox Review

A few weeks ago I saw a Cult Cosmetics Facebook status for their Blackbox.  This status had a coupon code so I could order this months Mad About Malibu Blackbox for just a penny.  I first saw Cult Cosmetics on Facebook back when they first were getting started and I was intrigued.  At the time I was doing both IPSY and Glossybox and while I wanted to try Blackbox, I didn't.  I already had two monthly subscriptions and adding Blackbox wasn't on my mind then.  I was very interested but thought I would wait.  Especially since I didn't know if I would like the product or not.  So when I saw the penny deal I was all in.  I still needed to pay the $5 shipping charge but it was whatever.  I knew I was getting two full size nail polishes (normally $12 each) and a BH Cosmetics makeup palette (which is now on sale for $6.95).  I had always wanted to try BH Cosmetics and since I hadn't yet I was even more inclined to do this offer.

The normal price for this Blackbox is $19.99 plus $5 for shipping.  I would definitely say that for these products that is reasonable.  I wish the shipping was already included in the price rather than being separate.  I mostly say that because Glossybox and IPSY (and probably other monthly subscription boxes) have the shipping included (or free, however you wish to look at it) in the price.

I definitely would order from Cult Cosmetics again especially since my box included another coupon code but this time for free shipping on my next box!  Perfect, right??  I really like their Valentine's Nail Art Kit but one of the three colors from that one was in the box I just received.  So..we'll see what they come out with in the future and maybe I'll get another.

I do recommend this for a gift.  If you know someone that's into nail polish this would be a great gift for them!  I posted a few photos below to show you what it all looks like.  And I forgot to mention above that I do really like the nail polish - a lot.  A lot a lot.  I did one coat of PCH and two for Avalon and I'm really excited to wear Avalon on all my nails this spring!
What was inside my Blackbox.  BH Malibu Eyeshadow & Blush Palette, PCH Nail Polish, Avalon Nail Polish and a Cult Cosmetics sticker.
A look inside the Malibu Palette.
PCH is the main color with Avalon for the accent nail.  I then added one of my favorite OPI polishes (The Living Daylights) to the tips of my thumb and ring finger.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

IPSY Review March 2014

This is everything that came in my IPSY bag this month.  The makeup bag itself is "m'eh" .. I prefer some of the ones I've received in the past more.  The lotion was yet another lotion that they sent me.  It's not like you can have too many lotions, I mean, because of IPSY I have a lotion in my by my at my desk..another in a purse..etc.  I'm just good for lotions for awhile.  This one does smell good, it's Indian Coconut Nectar.  I like it.  Just not super impressed.
I love lipstick samples.  I think they're soooo cute!  This was a good "mature" color.  Very smooth to put on and I loved the quality.
I have received a few different Be A Bombshell makeup products in the past through IPSY and so far I have liked every one of them.  I particularly love the bottom left color.  It's different than what I already have and it's like a terracotta color.  It's probably my favorite part of this whole bag.
Now this..I was not that impressed with.  I'm a fan of OPI's Liquid Sand and this just doesn't compare (in my opinion).  It's a different type of texture than Liquid Sand so I can appreciate that and the attempt to make a variety but this just didn't do it for me.  The only useful thing I can see myself using this as is an Easter nail look since the texture reminds me of Easter Candy.  I do like the blue color a lot it's just the texture and the dark blue speckles in it that I don't like.  Anyone nearby want this?
Overall I'm happy with this bag.  I've liked others more but for $10 I'm happy.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Empty: Lush Jumping Juniper Solid Shampoo

Another thing that's [almost] empty!  But by empty I mean it's almost all lathered up since it doesn't come in a container.  And that's my Lush Jumping Juniper Solid Shampoo.

When I purchased this I was looking for something to help "repair" my scalp.  After more than a year of trying to not wash my hair everyday my scalp was left super gross - even after I washed it.  I tried washing my hair every other day, every two days, every three days, etc. and it's just not for me.  I was told it gets worse before it gets better but this was not the case.  I even talked to my hairstylist about it and while she would prefer me to not wash my hair everyday it seemed that she agreed with me that I needed to.

It wasn't just oily was just so gross and before I tried to skip around with my shampoo schedule my hair/scalp was perfecting fine.  Now it is's actually much better now and I noticed a difference because of this shampoo.  It really helped clear up the grossness that built up and I was very happy with the results.

I bought this solid shampoo back in November and I am now starting to run out of it.  I still have many more uses out of it but decided to go buy another one for when I need it.  I went into Lush the other day to repurchase it and when I was reading the description of the shampoo I got confused.  Back in November I told the dude that was working what I was looking for and he recommended this one.  But now when I was reading the description it really didn't click with as to why he recommended it.

A sales associate walked over to me and asked what I was looking for and I told her I came in to buy another Jumping Juniper but then got confused when I read what it "was good for".  I told her what I was looking for and she recommended the Godiva solid shampoo.  That was one that stood out to me before she walked over since it seemed to be what I wanted in a shampoo.  I decided to buy the Godiva solid shampoo because it seems like it would be a better fit for me and my needs.  I was told if it doesn't work for me the way I want it to, I can return it.  I normally wouldn't "fix what ain't broke" but since I feel like Jumping Juniper helped me A LOT, I felt like maybe something else of theirs could help me even more.  So I'll try this one out and see how it works for me.  I have high hopes that this will work for me even better than what I had before and if not, I'll go back to Jumping Juniper or maybe try another shampoo.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Empty: Mac Mineralize Moisture Foundation

My current foundation.
The majority of my face makeup is MAC.  Ever since I was a teenager I've always used MAC foundations.  I typically stick with something once I like it because I know I can rely on it.  I'm always open to trying new things but I always have something on hand that I know I love.  I have dry skin and when I went into MAC for the first time as a teenager I was directed to their Mineralize Foundation.  I totally loved it and for years I used it and would go through two a year.  I was happy with the 6 month life span of my foundation and it was easy, every May and November I would know I needed to repurchase my foundation.  Then this one was prior to May and I knew I was going to need some more foundation soon and since I was at the mall already I thought I would pick some up.  Well, MAC discontinued the foundation that I had always used.  I didn't buy anything that day and later returned and bought the Pro Longwear Foundation.  I did like this new foundation but it is pretty different than the Mineralize Foundation.  

One day as I was browsing through my YouTube Subscriptions I came across a new video by GossMakeupArtist about the new MAC Mineralize Moisture Foundation!!  I was pretty excited and next chance I had I went off to the makeup counter at the mall to pick some up.  Well..the woman working had no clue what I was talking about .. so I just figured it just hadn't released yet even though I was pretty certain it already had. Aaaaaand it did.  A few weeks later I tried again at the MAC store and my main man Christian over there hooked me up.  (He confirmed how odd it was that the woman at counter at the mall didn't know what I was talking about.)  I bought it in NW20 (yup...I'm pale).

I bought this foundation I believe March of may have been February or April but I'm pretty certain it was March.  I do need to explain that when I was using the old version of this foundation I wore it every day and it lasted six months.  This foundation did last me a year but I don't use it every day.  I use it most days but sometimes I do use my Pro Long Wear Foundation or a tinted moisturizer.  I think I've used five different foundations this past year (this is the only empty between all of them) so it makes total sense that it lasted a year and why it was the first to be done.

I mentioned earlier that I have dry skin and I really loved this foundation.  If you have oily skin..just..don't.  You won't like it.  It has a dewy finish and I love love love how my skin looks with it on.  And with that said I could just see someone with oily skin really not liking it.

The coverage of the foundation I think is perfect (for me).  I like how my face looks fresh but it's not piled on and makes me look super fake.  So it's great.

MAC Mineralize Moisture Foundation NW20
Something I recommend
So I know you can do this at Nordstrom and at the MAC stores but for other brands and retailers..I'm not sure they do this.  But often times when I buy makeup at the MAC counter or retail store I get a sample of something.  I haven't always been offered samples but it all started when I went to the counter to buy the new foundation and the woman didn't know what I was talking about.  I did end up buying a few other things that I wanted and one of those things was a highlighter.  She showed me the Lustre Drops and I really liked it and when she went to grab me one to take home they didn't have any.  She ordered one to be shipped to my house (for free) and then also loaded up one of the sample containers for me to take home.  That was really awesome since I was able to use it right away plus get the one I ordered within a few days anyways.

Then a few weeks later when I bought the foundation from Christian at the MAC store I also bought a few other things I needed and one of the products he showed me was this eye cream.  I didn't end up buying it only because I gave myself a budget to stick with and I didn't want to go over that budget.  But he offered a sample of it to along with what I purchased.  And it was awesome.  He also gave me another sample on a separate occasion for some foundation since I wasn't sure I wanted to buy it or not.

Now what I recommend is when it comes to purchasing foundations whether it's at a MAC store, a makeup counter at Nordstrom counter or any place where someone actively helps you buy foundation (or any other makeup) is to first arrive with no foundation on at all.  Or at least put minimal on so you can wipe if off once you get there.  That way you can try it out before you buy it.  Plus it's a great way to get the best color match for you skin.  Once it's applied you can have your initial reaction to how it looks and whether you like it or not.

If you're not sure about the foundation you're trying out, I wouldn't recommend buying it.  Yeah, Nordstrom has a GREAT return policy but I feel like people often abuse it.  Instead ask for a sample in a little pot and take their card so that way if you do want to buy it you can purchase it from who initially helped you and the commission goes to the right person.  The sample pots are pretty small but they hold enough product for you to use it enough times to figure out if you like it or not.  This is also a great way to save your own money in case you're lazy and don't get around to returning it or you feel bad so you don't return it or whatever the reason.  Of course though if you're at the counter/store and you know you like it, buy it.

Will I Repurchase?
Hellsyeah.  And I'm actually going to see about getting a sample of a different foundation as well so I can see what else of theirs I like.  I've only used three of their foundations so far but only two were on myself.  I bought my friend a foundation from MAC to use for her wedding and so I've never tried it on myself yet.

What I Didn't Like
After completing this blogpost I realized I forgot to mention any negatives about this product.  And my only "thing" is it doesn't look empty!  Normally with most of my makeup you can see the product is running out because it's not up and along the sides anymore.  This one still looks full from the outside.  I knew it was getting low since I've had it for a year but a visual indication would've been nice.  And my bottle has been standing upright for long enough that if the foundation was up along the sides it would've ran down by now.  I guess the plus side of this though is that it doesn't look junky and empty.  But really..I'm the only one that sees this though.

Monday, March 10, 2014

I'm not that great of a cook but...

I totally owned these three meals.

There are a few things I would do differently the next time I make some of these things but I gotta say..I'm proud of myself.  Now that I'm a stay at home mommy and soon to be wife I know I wanted to work on my cooking and baking skills.  I only have a few things that I feel confident in making but I need more than just a few meals to last our lifetime.  So this last week I made one meal that I've done before that I knew would be good and then tried two others.

**At the end of the post I have some recommendations for what to do next time/differently so be sure to check that out.  I'm no pro at cooking but I learned a few things and it's worth sharing.**

Buffalo Chicken Pizza
The first meal I made last week (and for the first time) was Buffalo Chicken Pizza.  My mom made this for my family all the time and she actually used my grandma's roll recipe for the dough.

Instead of retyping the dough recipe I thought I would continue with passing along "the original".  This recipe was my Grandma Lucy's.  My uncle Merritt called her one day to get the recipe.  He then typed it up and at some point emailed it to my mom.  My mom printed the email and put it in her binder.  Then last week she took a photo of the printed recipe and texted it to me.  So now I'm uploading that text message and sharing it on my blog.  (Kind of fun how things can get shared these days.)
**Along with these ingredients you will need chicken, garlic, pepper, butter, buffalo sauce and ranch.**
For the Buffalo Chicken Pizza recipe I cut the dough recipe in half ^^ since we only have four people to feed and that makes a ton of dough.  **If you have issues with the dough rising this is what my mom had me do: turn the oven on to the lowest temperature (which was 170 degrees for me) and once it heats up to that turn off the oven and then put the dough inside the oven.  And please make sure it isn't in a plastic container.**
On the stove top melt half a cube of butter and cook chicken that is cut into cubes or small pieces.  Add garlic and pepper and add half a bottle of buffalo sauce (I used Frank's Red Hot Wing Sauce).
To cut out each individual pizza I used a cup and instead of just using the dimensions of the cup I made it bigger by just rolling the cup around on its edge in a wide circular motion.  The first layer I put down was ranch dressing and I felt like I smothered it on but next time I'm going to put more on since it seems to disappear in the baking process.  Then I added shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese and put the cooked buffalo chicken on top of that.  I followed the dough recipe's baking instructions.  
The best part of this meal is the leftover sauce in the pan from cooking the chicken.  The buttery buffalo sauce is great for extra sauce when eating the pizza.
All done!!
Chicken Enchiladas
The second meal I made was chicken enchiladas.  Which I've done before and was pleased when Konnor loved them.  I didn't get any photos of this but I'm sure we'll have it again very soon.

For this I cooked chicken and shredded it.  I bought enchilada sauce packet from the store and cooked that over the stove by adding water and a can of tomato sauce.  I preheated the oven to 350 degrees and added some of the sauce to the bottom of the cooking pan.  Then added most of the sauce to the shredded chicken and mixed. I put some grated cheese on a tortilla and added the chicken on that.  I rolled the tortilla up and placed in the pan.  Once the pan was filled I put the remaining sauce over the top of all the enchiladas and added cheese to the top as well.  It cooked for about 20 minutes (until the cheese is melted).

Konnor and I also made homemade salsa together as well.  Chop of 10 roma tomatoes, half an onion, 2 serrano peppers and cilantro.  Add in some lemon juice and salt and's amazing.

Another side dish was refried beans topped with grated cheese and placed in the oven along with the enchiladas (next time I would add a hot sauce as the second layer though - I think that's what my mom does).

Egg Rolls and Stir Fry
Beef Egg Rolls and Chicken Stir Fry
This was my favorite meal last week.  Mostly because it wasn't like I followed both of the recipes.  I saw a few different recipes and picked between them what I wanted to do with our meal.

The wrappers I used, I found them at Walmart in the produce isle.
I've made Egg Rolls in the past but it's been a long time.  And we did try cooking them a different way but that .. didn't really work.  So I'll tell you the better way of cooking them that I had done before.

To start out brown ground pork (or beef..we did beef) on the stove and then add in a teaspoon of ground ginger (the recipe I read called for minced ginger but I had no clue where to find that or what it looked liked), 2 cups of chopped cabbage, 2 shredded carrots, 1 chopped celery, 1/4 onion chopped (I had 1.5 onions and I split the two between the egg rolls and stir fry so a whole onion is fine) and I also added 2 minced garlic cloves.  Once everything is all mixed in and starting to soften that's when we start putting together the egg rolls.  I bought a packet of egg rolls wraps and followed the filling directions (put some filling in the middle then fold and roll) and then we did the baking instructions..which I would not recommend.  I would recommend the stove top directions because this is how I normally make them and it tastes sooooo much better.  When we reheated leftovers the next day we did it on the stove and Konnor liked it waaaaay more.  He was so sweet to tell me they were good in the first place when I knew they would've been better cooked the other way.
The filling when it's ready to be assembled.
When I was at the store I had no clue what I wanted to make to go along with the egg rolls.  I saw Kikkoman Teriyaki Sauce on the shelf and I was like, "Whoa, I love Teriyaki Sauce - let's go with that."  So I looked up a few recipes online for Teriyaki Stir Fry and decided which parts of each recipe I wanted to follow.  I saw these Wel-Pac Noodles (these can be purchased individually and not just packs of 12) on the shelf and thought they were a good idea (and they totally were!).
I used a lot of the same ingredients as the egg rolls (okay..I used all of them) but the cabbage wasn't as "chopped" and neither was the onion.  But again I added shredded carrots, chopped celery, minced garlic and ground ginger.  The only thing different was instead of ground beef I put in chunks of chicken.  The noodle to chicken recipe was a 3/4 pound of chicken and .. no.  I would put in more than that personally.  But I'll get to that more at the bottom of the post.  But anyways I cooked about a pound of chicken and added the carrots, not so chopped cabbage and onions, ginger, celery and once the noodles were cooked and in the same pan as the rest of the mix I added 3/4 of a cup of the Kikkoman Teriyaki Sauce.  1/2 of a cup probably would've been enough but when in doubt, extra sauce is a good idea.
Before an after the noodles and sauce were added.
By the way..this was sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo good.

What I would do differently next time...
For the pizza I would only add way more ranch before cooking.  The amount of pizzas I made by cutting the dough recipe in half was perfect for four people plus there was enough leftovers to last for lunch for a few days.

The enchiladas were perfect.  But this time I didn't have this amazing food chopping device for the onions that I wish I had.  My mom has a Pampered Chef one and it's seriously the best thing I've ever used in the kitchen.  It's much quicker and gets the onions and peppers to the small pieces that I need to make salsa.
Konnor had a simple solution to eye irritation.
All the leftovers.
And for the egg rolls I would definitely make them on the stove than in the oven.  I would also cut both of the recipes for this meal in half for only needing to feed four people.  I love leftovers more than anything but this would be an easy recipe to cut in half since the noodles are packaged with two layers of noodles.  But don't cut the chicken in half, keep that at 3/4 of a pound..or a full pound.  ;-) 

This is what they look like once I reheated them as leftovers over the stove.  They tasted SO MUCH BETTER.