Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Stila Sheer Color Tinted Moisturizer Oil Free SPF 20, Review



If you've kept track of my hauls at all, you will know that I purchased this some time last year, which seems like ages ago to me. I adored it then and I still love it just as much now! And yet as I finish off the last bits of it, I'm finally going to share my opinion on it.

Here's what Stila has to say about it: "This revolutionary oil free, tinted moisturizer multitasks as a skin hydrating, skintone perfecting, spf protecting complexion enhancer. The micro-fine light diffusing pigments create a sheer wash of natural color and help diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles. It's oil-free formula melts right into the skin and dries down, creating a gorgeous glow without the tackiness or greasiness"

More details:


Packaging: I think the packaging is quite nice in it's long silver tube. It isn't too heavy or large and therefore easy to travel with. I also love the fact that it comes in a squeeze tube form, allowing it to dispense the amount of product needed per application, which for me is just one squirt. 

Coverage: Sheer. Although every last blemish doesn't get completely concealed with one layer, the product can be built up if needed or paired with a concealer and pressed powder to benefit those that require more coverage. 
Finish: Demi-Matte. It doesn't have an overly dewey finish but at the same time it doesn't look completely matte or flat on the face. 


Consistency: Light and moisturizing. It feels just like it's name states, like a moisturizer that has some tint to it. Even so, it doesn't look or feel greasy at all and it sets up onto the skin nicely. 


Lasting Power: 5-6 hours is about the amount of wear I've gotten at most with this product. After that it seems to wear off in certain areas but doesn't allow major oil break through for people like me who get slightly greasy in the t-zone during the warmer months. 

Amount of Product: This has lasted me ages. I started using it when I first purchased it last Spring and continued with it into the summer time, only taking a break from it over the winter. Only now am I just finishing it off, almost a year later. Since not much needs to be used with each application, it doesn't run out too quick. 

Price: The price at somewhere around $34.00 is a couple dollars less then a tube of Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream which has only 1 oz in it. To me the price is understandable since it comes from a high end brand that can be purchased at Sephora. Because it lasted so long, it was worth every dollar.

Variations: On the website there are 9 different shades available which is pretty excellent. The one I own is in the shade "light" and it is slightly yellow for my skin tone (which you can see in the swatches). It seems to oxidize slightly after being applied though, and blends right into the skin afterwards. It's also quite sheer once smoothed out, so the color doesn't bother me too much. 

Photographs Well? I think so. My pores don't look overly enlarged and my face doesn't seem to matte or dewey when I'm photographed wearing this tinted moisturizer so I find it does just fine. 

Recommended Skin Type: Since this has such moisturizing properties to it, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone with overly oily skin. I think that dry skinned individuals and combination skin types would do very well with it. 


Overall:

I usually go for the more full coverage face products in the colder months and now that the weather has warmed up again, this suits me wonderfully. At the same time a tiny bit more coverage would be nice. The lasting power isn't quite as great as some of the other face products I've tried in the past. This is slightly disappointing as it's nice to have your face product stay put at least through an 8 hour work day. That being said, I love how it looks on and I haven't had any weird reactions to it so it may very well be something I'll repurchase in the future, regardless of it's price tag. 

 Have you tried this tinted moisturizer? If you have, what did you think of it. If you haven't do you want to?

Let me know in the comments form, along with any other opinions you may have, I love hearing from readers!

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Gigi.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Grilled Nile Perch with a Yellow Pepper Cilantro Pesto Recipe


The weekend before memorial day our newly purchased grill arrived. Perfect timing too. It was a present for my husband but if you think it makes him happy then you should know how happy it makes me. VERY HAPPY! :) It's the new homeowners dream, obviously.

 In the summertime we like to make a bbq every Sunday, but we often throw something on the grill here and there to finish a dish throughout the week. Last week it was some chicken breasts to add some pizazz to a salad. And then there was this piece of fish (wrapped in a piece of foil for kashrus reasons). I had never tasted nile perch before, and my curiosity got the best of me. When it comes to fish this year has been all about the experimentation. I've cooked up red snapper, sea bass and so many others and this was just waiting to be added to that list. 



This recipe, like so many of mine is quite simple with a short ingredient list and speedy preparation time as well. This can be done on a grill pan or broiler too so don't worry if you don't yet own an outdoor grill. For all of you dieters trying to get fit for summer, this is your dish. It's low calorie but still super tasty! One last detail before I share this recipe: Nile Perch is a very delicate soft fish so be really careful while grilling, flipping, transferring and what not. 



Grilled Nile Perch with a Yellow Pepper Cilantro Pesto 

Ingredients:

1 or 2 Nile Perch Fillets 
Spice Mixture- Even amounts of paprika, Salt, Pepper, BBQ Spice, Prima Fish Spice  
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil 

Pesto:

1 Yellow Pepper
1/3 Cup Pine Nuts
3/4 Cup Fresh Cilantro 

1/3 Cup Olive Oil

2 Cloves Fresh Garlic
2 Tablespoons Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
Salt & Pepper to taste

Method:

1. Heat your grill to medium heat. In the meantime, brush your pieces of fish with olive oil and then prepare your spice mixture and use your fingers to rub it into both sides of the fish. Grill the fish for 7 minutes on each side depending on how thick your pieces are. Remove the pieces to a plate very gently as it's a soft delicate fish that will fall apart. 

2. Cut open the yellow pepper and remove veins and seeds. Then cut it in half and brush it with olive oil. Put it on the grill for 2-3 minutes or until the peppers are soft. Remove skin if you'd like. I didn't. 

3. Prepare the pesto. Put the yellow pepper into the food processor fitted with the blade attachment along with the cilantro, pine nuts, olive oil, fresh garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Put the machine on and let it go until the pesto is a good consistency- thick but smooth. 

4. Serve the fish warm or room temperature, topped with a couple of tablespoons of pesto. 

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Gigi. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Makeup Tip of The Week: Applying Mascara Just Right



One of the easiest ways to take eyes from sleepy looking to beautiful and made up in seconds, is to apply mascara. It has the ability to create longer, thicker looking lashes, and who doesn't like that?  I personally find it to be the finishing touch to any of my makeup looks and I never leave the house without at least one coating. Applying it right can be the great difference between a clumpy hot mess or angelic, beautifully accentuated eye makeup. Choosing your mascara is definitely half the work done but knowing how to put it on is also very essential. Pros make applying mascara look like a breeze, but to avoid getting it everywhere (especially when you may be in a rush) can be quite the job! So how can you achieve perfectly lengthened, volumized and separated looking lashes without the mess? Today I am going to share some of my easiest mascara tips and tricks with you:


Tip #1 Always use an eyelash curler before applying any product to your lashes. Use it at the base of the lashes, holding it for a few seconds as the lashes are lifted up. This will curve them upwards and the mascara will have an easier job keeping them that way. Choose a curler that is wide enough to handle your entire lash line from side to side as well as it will make the job that much easier.

Tip #2 Start by laying the mascara wand on top of your lashes, instead of underneath them as is normal. Comb through them from this side first. Let that product set in before going in with more coats.This will curl them upwards a bit and also put some product through them before going on the underside. It will also act as a barrier and prevent the mascara from being really wet and smudging everywhere and it means you will be combing downwards and away from your eyelid which lessens the chances of smears happening.


Tip#3 To avoid getting mascara all over your entire eyelid and messing up whatever makeup has been applied previously, use an old credit card or business card and press it right against the top of your lashes, gently laying it against your face but not quite touching your eye shadow. Then apply the mascara and the wand will bump up against the card, instead of your skin. If you don't have a card around, use your fingers and pull your eyelid upwards, taut and away from your lashes as you apply your mascara. This will give the mascara more room to get into the lashes without getting all over the place.

Tip #4 When applying your mascara, get right into the roots of where the lashes begin under the eye and wiggle the wand from side to side, combing all the way through in sections until the desired length and volume is achieved. Try to allow the product to dry for a minute or so before applying a second or third coat.

Tip #5 Use the end of the wand to get into hard to reach places, like the little lashes at both ends. Using the whole wand to get in there will just end up in smudgey disaster.

Mascara shown in this post is the Mary Kay Lash Love mascara in black. It's one of my absolute favorites at the moment. Look out for a full review in the future!

Tip #6 Keep makeup wipes on hand to clean up any mistakes.

Tip #7 Apply lower lash mascara second and follow that same routine of getting right into the roots of the lashes and wiggling from side to side in sections.

I hope these tips will be useful to you in your makeup applications! 

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Gigi. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Beauty Scenario Tag


I love tags! They are really fun to do and they also help with getting to know someone. So when I saw this great beauty scenario tag by Lily Pebbles, I knew I was going to be filming my own version at some point. I only just got around to it recently but had an absolute fabulous time with it! Go watch the video here, or read till the end of the post where it will be inserted as usual. Also, notice I am rockin a messy fishtail braid. I've been playing around with lots of hair styles lately and will gladly share them through videos or posts so if any of you are interested in seeing that, please feel free to leave me a comment letting me know below and I will get on that. 

The Beauty Scenario Tag has 8 different questions putting forth different beauty encounters to discuss. If you make youtube videos or blog, I would love to see your version of this tag, so feel free to leave it in the comments if you do one!

Here are the questions. I have also answered them here in short. The video is a bit more lengthily. 

 1. You have to get rid of all your foundations and you can only keep one high end and one drugstore, which do you keep?

High end: Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream
Drugstore: Revlon Colorstay or Mac Face and Body Foundation

2. You go for an interview and the lady interviewing you has lipstick on her teeth. Do you approach the subject or ignore it completely?

I'm very shy, so probably ignore. It's a hard one though. 

3. You’re not feeling yourself and need a pick me up. Which lipstick do you put on to make yourself feel beautiful?

Lipstick doesn't really act as a pick me up for me, but Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick in Fuschia Fever makes me very happy.

4. You go back in time for a day to your teenage years, how would you do your hair and makeup differently?

Hair: Put more effort into the styling instead of throwing it up into a bun.

Makeup: Do not put pastel eye shadows up until my brow bone. 

5. You ask your hairdresser for a shoulder length Pixie Lott hair cut, but they hear wrong and give you a pixi cut. Do you a) Smile, say thank you, leave and call your mum hysterical b) Cry in the chair and things get awkward or c) Complain to the manager and demand a refund.

Most likely leave and cry at home. 

6. Your friend surprises you with a 4 day city break and you have 1 hour to pack. Which ‘do it all’ palette do you pack in your makeup bag?

The Smashbox Shades of Fame Eye Shadow Palette.

7. Your house has been robbed, don’t worry everyone is safe, but your beauty stash has been raided. What’s the product you really hope is safe?

The Urban Decay Makeup Setting Spray.

8. Your friend borrows your makeup and returns it in awful condition. Do you a) Just pretend you haven’t noticed b) Ask them to repurchase it or c) Secretly do the same to something of theirs

Mention it at some point but friends are more important to me then makeup. 



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Please share your thoughts in the comments!

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Gigi. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

NYX Powder Blushes in Desert Rose & Pinched, Review



Blush is kind of neglected around here in regards to reviews. I throw one into a favorites video from time to time and that's about it. It's not the most prominent product in my collection and I most certainly don't wear it every day. At the same time I think it is a very important product in any makeup routine. The reason I am not completely obsessed with blush and therefore don't talk about them much is because it is hard for me to find a shade that suits me perfectly with my hyper pigmentation and natural rosiness. I have learnt that I look best in the ones that are either peach toned but glowy enough to double as a highlighter or slightly bronzey to accentuate a summer tan. Anything with a pink or red undertone to it just does not suit me at all. And yet, here I am with a review for two blushes in that exact shade range. They may not look amazing on me, but they certainly look great on others! And the actual quality is something to talk about too. I can't wait to purchase more of these but in shades that suit me better. Expect those in my next NYX purchase for sure. 


What NYX has to say about their blushes: "Our pressed powder blush delivers sheer, silky color that glides on easily, blends beautifully and creates a natural glow. The formula is richly pigmented and lasts for hours. Available in 24 radiant colors!" 


What I think:

Color Payoff: The pigmentation is what really makes these blushes as great as they are. It is full color on one swipe and even needs to be dusted off your brush slightly after you pick it up. 

Texture: Smooth and easy to blend. Not chalky at all. 

Packaging: I like that these are small and square and easy to fit in any makeup bag. They do appear a bit junky looking to me but the contents have not broken while traveling so it seems secure. Hearts are my favorite so I love that NYX includes that symbol on most of their products. 


Price: I think $5.00 is quite the bargain for the amount of blush included. 

Lasting Power: I've never been successful at getting powder blushes to last very long but I can happily say that I've noticed these ones stick around for at least 8 hours! At the same time I think the base product worn can have a big impact on the longevity of powder products. 

Scent: Nothing noticeable. Unscented as far as I have found. 


Photo Friendly? Certainly. I haven't noticed any change in color from reality to photos. 

Variety: These come in 24 different shades in all kinds of tones and colors from orange to purple and brown, so there's got to be one to suit everyone. 

Recommended Skin Types: I think this product can work for anyone from very oily to very dry. What is more important is to make sure they are layered over a face base that is most suitable and then they should be just fine. This will definitely be something to test for each individual though.

Overall: 

The color payoff, texture and lasting power are my favorite details with these blushes. I like that they are unscented and photograph well too. I think the packaging could be made to look a little less junky but I guess that's why they cost so little. I don't love these specific shades on me but I look forward to trying the others and will certainly do a review once I do. 


Desert Rose is a slightly red pink and Pinched is a much lighter pink. They look pretty similar when applied but desert rose is definitely darker. Both of them have a slight shimmer to them but nothing sparkly or annoying. 

Have you tried the NYX blushes? I purchased these from Ulta but they are actually now available at most CVS's. They can also be found at NYX.com online. Let me know what you think of them if you have and recommend me some of your favorite NYX products in the comments form below! I would absolutely love to hear your opinions!

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Gigi.  

Monday, June 9, 2014

Strawberry Nutella Milkshakes Recipe


I surprised myself one day when I had this crazy idea in my head to make nutella spread from scratch and actually went ahead with it. It's not usually the sort of project I readily choose to partake in. Call it laziness or fear, companies do all the hard work for us and create awesome jarred products, so why not make use of them? It wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be and that completely blew my mind. Yes, I will be making a large jar in the near future and I will try my very best to get the recipe up here when that happens. In the meantime, I have an even better recipe to share which incorporates everyone's favorite chocolate hazelnut spread. Strawberry Nutella Milkshakes and bam, I just took that spread to a whole new level! 

When sisters get together, all sorts of creative things happen and it just so happens that every time my younger sister stays over we end up cooking, baking or whipping something cool up. She shares my love for food and between the two of us, we usually end up with something awesome to snack on. The video to go along with this post is already up for your entertainment. We were laughing so hard as we recorded it, I'm surprised I even managed to get any workable footage! We are crazy like that! So go ahead and watch it here or read till the end of the post where I will insert it as usual!

Strawberry Nutella Milkshakes 

Ingredients:

10 Frozen Strawberries 
2 Cups Milk 
4 Scoops of Vanilla Ice Cream
3 Teaspoons Chocolate Nutella 
1/2 Cup Ungars Whip or Whipped Cream
Bakers Choice Dairy Caramel Spritz 

Method:

1. Blend frozen strawberries in your blender with milk, ice cream and nutella until it's nice and smooth and shake like in consistency. 

2. Whip up some cream using a whisk and a bowl or use premade whipped cream. 

3. Pour the milkshake into some glasses and top them with a few dollops of the whipped cream. 

4. Top the whipped cream with some caramel sauce. 

5. Serve immediately and enjoy!

             

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Do you love milkshakes? Will you try this recipe? Please share your thoughts in the comments!

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Gigi. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

My June 2014 Wishlist


June is here! I'm so happy about that.There are a bunch of white orchids in a vase at the center of my table, our backyard kiddie swimming pool is pumped up and we've even indulged in our first bbq dinner. All I need now is a hammock and a good book to read. It's going to be a great summer!  
As always, I am here with my wishlist for the new month. Floral crop tops and open toe sandals have my mind preoccupied at the moment, but there's still a couple of beauty related things and even a much yearned for cooking tool. 

Here's what made it to the wishlist this month:

1. Ateco Food Rings Mold Set- I am always thinking of new ways to amp up my food plating and this is just the thing for making food look perfectly neat and appetizing. 

2. Nude Leather Pumps- I love nude pumps at the moment. 

3. Bobbie Brown Bronzing Powder- I'm on the search for a terra cotta toned bronzer with the perfect amount of brown and the perfect amount of orange and red. This looks nice. 

4. Marble Hashtag- With the overuse of hashtags all around me, I think this is a cute piece of decor that would go well in my office or on the shelves in my dining room. I'd do it in wood, painted grey. 

5. Memo Office Board- Getting organized is on my agenda, this looks like a fabulous tool for organization. 

6.  Velour Doll Me Up Lashes- If you've been on youtube at all, you will have heard of these. They look awesome on anyone that applies them. I must have a pair for myself. 

7. Lime Crime Lipsticks- I love the color Babette. Corals and pinks are in rotation here with the warm weather. 

8. Floral Crop Top- Floral. Crop. Top. Enough said. 

9. Jodi Picoult, Leaving Time- I just finished reading one of her other books, in fact this is probably of the only ones I haven't read yet, she's awesome!

10. Koala Espadrille Shoes- These look chic and comfy at the same time. 

11. What Goes Around Comes Around Studs- I love statement studs. My michael kors ones have gotten so much wear, these would be a perfect addition to my collection. 

12. St. Ives Pink Lemonade + Mandarin Facial Scrub- I love all of the things this brand brings out, just thinking of the pink lemonade scent makes me want this. 

What are you wishing for this month? Let me know in the comments form below, I would love to hear from you!

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Gigi.
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