Wednesday, April 23, 2014

It's All in the Eyes

For years I have admired girls that can apply eyeshadow in a perfectly smoky, natural way. I would try to meticulously copy their look but always ended up with creased eyeshadow before the evening had even started.

Recently it occurred to me that perhaps my problem was in the preparation. In the past, I had tried using concealer as a base for eyeshadow because it seemed to make sense - I mean it creates a blank canvas, right? Nope.

I asked around and found that Urban Decay's Eyeshadow Primer Potion seemed to be one of those cult classic products that had a loyal following. I marched myself right over to Sephora after yoga one day a few weeks ago, picked up a tube of primer, and I haven't gone without it for a single day since. This primer truly does completely prevent creasing and keeps my eyeshadow looking exactly the same at 5 PM that it did at 9 AM. Paired with my new favorite palette, which I'll blog about later this week and I'm finally one of those girls with the great eyeshadow that I've always wanted to be.

Afternoon Snack

Thanks to Yoplait for sponsoring today's post!

As I have mentioned a few times before, I've been making an effort this spring to really get into gear with working out and eating healthy. This means I have to make sure I have healthy snack options that are easy to put together and that will keep me away from my colleague's candy bowl.

With a healthy eating plan comes embracing foods that may not typically top my list of favorites. I'm not usually a big yogurt eater, in fact, I'm guilty of many times buying yogurt with the intention of eating a healthy snack and then finding it expired in the back of my fridge a month later.

Yoplait sponsored a taste test between Yoplait Greek 100 Strawberry and Chobani 100 Simply Strawberry. Since this fit right in with my health kick, I was eager to try them both out.

To make the yogurt a bit more well rounded, I topped it with pecan granola and fresh strawberries and then it was time to try them both. Chobani started with a leg up on the Yoplait simply because it does not have artificial sweeteners and my tolerance for artificial sweeteners is pretty much zero. However, when I tried both yogurts, the Chobani had a kind of pasty taste to it and wasn't sweet at all. For those that like plain greek yogurt with just a hint of strawberry this would be perfect, but for me, I need a little more taste. The Yoplait had a definite sweet strawberry flavor and though I could tell there was a bit of artificial sweetener in it (that's how they it to 100 calories, I guess!), it wasn't overwhelming at all. Paired with the granola and fresh strawberries, it made for the perfect afternoon snack or post meal treat.

Thank you again to Yoplait for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Print Mixing

I was home in Richmond this past weekend along with all three of my sisters for Easter and we were so lucky to have perfect sunny weather and blue skies. Ideal for a lightweight scarf, a jersey Easter dress, and a little print mixing.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Easter Basket Wish List

While my Easter basket is usually filled with lots and lots of chocolate, in an ideal world it would actually be filled with all of the pastel items I’m currently lusting after. What’s on my wish list this April? Check it out below. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Carob No Bake Cookies

As we saw in my post yesterday, swimsuit season is quickly approaching and this has me kicking into high gear with health and fitness. Finally, after a decade of regular yoga practice, I've gotten hooked on hot yoga, and I'm embracing some out there things like oil pulling.

While looking at new healthy recipes to try, I came across carob powder as a substitute for chocolate. Since I am a bit of a chocolate fiend, I figured I would give it a try. No bake cookies seemed like an easy enough place to start and I'm declaring my first venture into carob powder a success.

Carob No Bake Cookies
(I put links below to the exact products I used. You can find most of these at a normal grocery store and absolutely all of them will be at Whole Foods.)

1/2 cup peanut butter
2 tbsp coconut oil
1/3 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup carob powder
1 cup quick oats
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Heat the peanut butter, coconut oil, and agave nectar slowly until completely melted. Be careful not to burn it! Mix the carob powder, oats, coconut, and flaxseed in a medium mixing bowl. Add melted peanut butter, oil, and agave nectar. Add vanilla extract and mix thoroughly. Let cool. Fold in chocolate chips (do not add while still warm or they will melt completely!). Scoop onto parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Stick in freezer to solidify, store in refrigerator. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Warmer Days Ahead

Despite the fact there was snow falling this evening (it was 70 this morning!), my Memorial Day vacation is now booked and I'm focused on warmer days ahead. I'm still on a one piece kick and I'm loving all the vibrant prints that J.Crew has this season. Bright florals, graphic prints, and fun colors are perfect for jazzing up a basic silhouette, and this geometric print bandeau is absolutely now on my wish list.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Clarins Spring Makeup

A few weeks ago I went to a presentation on Clarins featuring both their new skincare and makeup collections for spring. The fabulous Jean Fayard walked us through the how-to of using all of their latest products and emphasized the importance of glowing, gorgeous skin this spring.

I hadn't tried Clarins products before and after watching Jean work her magic, I was so excited to get home and try out the new Opalescence collection. I always love trying out new makeup and the promise of radiant skin makes that even more enticing.

First up, the Radiance Boosting Complexion Base, which I have been mixing with a little bit of my favorite BB cream for just a bit of added luminosity. It comes in two colors, Rose and Champagne, and I've actually found that both work for me depending on what I need that day. Rose has a bit of a pink undertone and is perfect for those days when I need a bit of a color, while Champagne has a bit of yellow for color correcting that I often need for my sensitive skin. It's a glowy boost that is subtle and pretty for everyday.

I hadn't used bronzer in years (I've come to embrace my porcelain skin), but I like the concept of this blush-bronzer-powder in one. It's an easy way to add just a bit of glow as a finishing step. Not too bronze, just a bit of added warmth.

As a brown eyed girl, I've always been told purple is the best color to complement my eye color, so I was thrilled to see that the Vibrant Light Eye Quartet featured two gorgeous shades of purple with a dark gray and a sparkly white to add depth and light. Jean showed us how to create both a subdued daytime look as well as a sultry smoky eye. I tend to skew towards brown neutrals for day, but I'm absolutely loving how dramatic these shadows look for evening.

The last product I tried out was the Cream Blush in Grenadine. This cream blush is perfect to apply on the go as you can just swipe it on with your fingers and it dries to a powder. It's ideal for creating a natural flush and adding a bit of color onto your already luminous skin thanks to the Clarins spring line.

Stay tuned for a recap on the great Clarins skincare products that I tried out!

Rimmel London Moisture Renew Lipstick Review

I was recently sent the new Rimmel London Moisture Renew Lipstick to review and while I'm normally a lip balm and gloss kind of girl, I was eager to try out something new in my makeup routine.

At first impression, I just absolutely loved the deep berry pink color, and after applying it, I was pleasantly surprised by the smooth texture and silky feel of this lipstick. It certainly lives up to the name Moisture Renew as it is the most hydrating lipstick I've ever tried. Plus, layered over a pink lipliner, the boldness of color and the staying power is impressive. This is absolutely a lipstick I'll reach for again and again when I'm looking for a bright, bold look.