Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ombre Blushers

Did you miss out on MAC's infamous Ombre blusher--Ripe Peach? I did. I was on some sort of self-imposed makeup ban, and quickly regretted my timing after the blush sold out.

Estee Lauder Peach Nuance

Well look at what I found--a couple of little friends produced by the mothership, Estee Lauder. Peach Nuance and Plum Nuance remind me of MAC's Ripe Peach and Vintage Grape. The ombre effect is there in all its glory, packaged in Estee Lauder's familiar blue and gold casing

Estee Lauder Plum Nuance

My eye for makeup doesn't often fail me--while these colors are very similar, they take a bit more effort to build up in color than their MAC counterparts. I find this nice, as you can sweep on a sheer wash of color or build up to something with a bit more oomph. As it is Fall, and makeup is turning all sorts of deep and berry-like, I'm finding that I reach for the plum shade more than I had expected. I appreciate a blush that gives you a few options--they remind me of many of the Asian brand blushers. You can use each shade to create depth, and achieve a 3D effect.

One-swipe swatches (left: plum, right: peach)

L to R: Plum, Peach

The shades are a bit tricky to find online--they aren't represented as an ombre, but are listed under the Silky Powder Blush formula. At $26, they are a much better buy than eBay's $70 Ripe Peach offerings. Those sellers ought to be ashamed of themselves!

Are you still loving your Ripe Peach, or have you already found something similar? Do you like a blush that offers varying shades?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Black-Handled Obsession

Sometimes I sit down to apply my makeup, and I just sigh and think to myself how much I love playing with makeup. Actually, sometimes I yell it out to the hubby...who already knows I'm weird...so, I guess it's not always a thought I keep to myself (more like a thought he wishes I kept to myself).

Anyhoot, a similar thought came the other day when using some of my Sonia Kashuk brushes. I swear these hefty black-handled tools get me every time, and are amongst my favorites.


One of the latest additions to the pack has been the Domed brush. This is perfect for contouring, and also to apply blush. Really, you can use it for whatever your like (as most of her collection is quite multi-purpose), but I feel that it fits into the hollows the cheek perfectly.

Picking up brushes can be a bit addictive, but at the price and quality of Sonia Kashuk brushes, it's even more so. After realizing that the domed brush was such a Godsend, I decided to grab the Large Eyeshadow Brush and Crease Brush. The crease brush is a shorter, denser dome--and works wonders at avoiding a look that has been blended too far off the eye (I know you know what I mean).


This is the only drugstore brush line that I work with, but I'm open to other suggestions as well.Are there any brushes off the beaten (MAC) path that you love?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tipping The Base

Nails have been on my mind day and night. I can't tell you why it is, but I've been going nuts over nail design and trend, lately. It's beyond my fling with the accented nail.

Naturally, when my sister sent me one of the YSL Manicure Couture duos, I thought I'd go into a polish-induced frenzy.

To begin with, the Belle Du Nuit pair are the colors of my alma mater--purple and gold. I mean, where were these guys back then? I would have totally rocked it for a football game.

The box suggests a french manicure with a gold or purple tip. I thought, let's take this one step further and do the impossible (or not really)...the Ruffian Manicure.

This was my first time attempting the Ruffian, and I took these photos directly after having a free-handed go at my nails. Let's be real--they didn't turn out perfect, but I'm on that learning curve.

The brushes are angled--which I believe in theory is to make the tip job easier. Personally I believe it would be easier with a regular brush. One coat of the gold, and then one of the deep purple. The purple is a bit blackened, and is the perfect offset to the gold. Although I found myself making a fist around more conservative crowds, the compliments flowed. Apparently everyone likes a little change once in a while!

I like the reversed crescent moon, but I should mention that if you use a shade too close to your skin tone (at the base of the nail), it will appear as though you just have shorter (or stubbier) nails. This won't be the last time this look makes an appearance on this blog ;)

What is this a Yes Please, or a major Don't for you? Have you picked up any of the YSL duos?

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Quinoa.

The bestie called the other night.

Her: "What are you doing?"
Me: "Making dinner."
Her: "What are you making? Bean sprouts...with...girdle turdle...and..poo?"
Me: "I hate you."

I'm not sure what girdle turdle is, but we have a way of making up words to entertain ourselves. This conversation however, is the perfect example of how many of my friends perceive the way that I eat. I've noted before that I only purchase organic or locally grown food--but I'm not so hard-nosed that I won't get my fix of Asian food-products, or will refuse to dine out. Here is a dish that can be whipped up for dinner in a matter of minutes--and it's full of good-for-you things. A few of you have asked me for ways to prepare quinoa, and this is one way I commonly use it. Of course everything can be varied to your tastes.


Suka's Chicken Quinoa Salad

1 cup quinoa
1lb chicken, pan-fried
1 14 oz can, black beans
1/2 red onion, large-sized
1 apple, chopped
1 avocado, cubed
1 red pepper, diced
1 cup sweet corn kernels
2 cups chicken broth
1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced (seeds and all)
1 handful cilantro
4 tbl olive oil
2 tbl vinegar
1 tsp cumin
salt & pepper

Cook quinoa similar to rice--two cups of liquid (chicken broth) to one cup quinoa.
I like to cover the pot, wait until it boils, and then quickly turn it to simmer for 15 minutes.
Uncover after 15 minutes, and fluff the quinoa--the germ will separate from the kernal, and will have a slight bite.
Lightly season your chicken with salt and pepper, and then pan-fry until golden on each side.
In a large bowl, whisk the olive oil, vinegar and cumin.
Prepare apple, red onion, red pepper, corn, and jalapeno--toss them in the bowl with the dressing.
Next add the chicken, quinoa and black beans.
Last, (carefully) add avocado and cilantro.

Enjoy, and remember that you are treating yourself to a high protein, high fiber, gluten-free meal! In my book, an easily digestible meal is a great meal :)
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