Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Product Review: Wet & Wild Color Icon Palettes (Swatches and some MAC Dupes!)

Who doesn't love a convenient, inexpensive and pretty accessible makeup product? Even on those days where we may not wear foundation or lashes (hello, I never wear these!) it is almost always a staple to have some eyeshadow in a look that will make you feel fabulous. I saw these as I was food shopping at my local Shop Rite with the mister and at under $5, I had to give them a whirl. Here are some swatches and my thoughts on them:

Wet & Wild Comfort Zone Eyeshadow Palette

PicMonkey Collage1
Top Photo is the palette's left side, Bottom Photo is the palette's right side

Wet & Wild Petal Pusher Eyeshadow Palette

PicMonkey Collage
Top Photo is the palette's left side, Bottom Photo is the palette's right side

Overall Thoughts:
  • I love the price point of these--you are getting 8 shadows for under $5, how can you beat that?!
  • These shadows are pretty pigmented with the exception of the "browbone" colors that I would say came off a bit chalky and hard to work with at first but other than that the colors are really great!
  • I love how convenient these are--according to the labeling, you should be able to get two complete eye looks out of these--perfect for traveling! (I tried a look using the entire left side of the Comfort Zone palette as labeled and I got so many compliments!)
  • There are shadows included that are direct dupes for some of MAC's higher end line of shadows which retail for around $15.00 EACH! 
Left is MAC's Black Tied, Right is Wet & Wild Petal Pusher Palette (no color name is listed)

Left is MAC's Trax, Right is Wet & Wild's Petal Pusher Palette
Overall, for price and variety of colors with a pretty good pigmentation, I would definitely recommend these. I can't wait to get my hands on some of the other palette's :) If you have these what are your thoughts? For more info on these and other Wet & Wild Products, click here!

Petal Pushers and Comfort Zones,


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Steak au Poivre Recipe (Photos Included!)


Truth be told, if you aren't a meat lover, you probably won't be able to understand the intense "deliciousness" of a great cut of steak. I tried the whole vegetarian thing for a little while in high school and here I am blogging about a steak recipe, so you see where that left me lol There is nothing I love more, when it comes to food that is, than a juicy steak. Who doesn't love Filet Mignon?! 

The boyfriend decided that he wanted to try something new one night so we decided to whip up some peppercorn Filet Mignon otherwise known as Steak au Poivre.  Now, you can use this recipe with any cut of steak but I prefer the tenderness of a tenderloin like here. (using the word "tender" twice so close in that sentence made me feel a bit awk....moving on...)

Here is the delicious recipe!

What you will need:
  • 2 steaks (this is supposing it is just you and a special guest--for more people just double etc.) It is great to get a cut that is around 1-1.5 inches thick at the most but no less.
  • Salt
  • 1-1.5 tbsp. freshly ground peppercorns (the peppercorn container in stores usually comes with a grinder attached)
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup of any cognac of your choice with an extra tablespoon reserved (we used Hennessy)
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • A pan that is NOT non-stick---you will see why later

  1. You want to work with room temperature steaks for a recipe like this so once they are at room temperature (you can achieve this by setting them outside of the refrigerator covered for about 45 minutes before you are going to begin the recipe), sprinkle them with salt on both sides (this brings out all of the yummy flavors and helps prep them for what is going to happen later!)
  2. Crush or grind your peppercorns (if you aren't lucky enough to have a grinder, place them in a good old plastic Ziploc and crush them with a kitchen mallet or something of that sort) and spread them onto a plate. Then, as seen in the very first photo above, cover both sides of the steaks by GENTLY pressing them into the peppercorn mixture. 
  3. In a medium heated skillet, melt the olive oil and butter together. Once they are golden in color, and sizzling with delight, place your steaks into the pan. 
  4. Depending on how you like your steaks cooked, you can either cook them for 4 minutes on each side (medium rare) or add two minutes to each side for medium and so on and so forth. I did mine for about 7-8 minutes on each side--I don't like my meat too too red. 
  5. This next part is KEY!!!!! Remove the steaks and set aside under foil to keep them warm. DRAIN THE EXCESS FAT FROM THE PAN WITHOUT SCRAPING THE GOODNESS THAT HAS BURNT ON THE BOTTOM! (this is why we DID NOT want to use a non-stick pan). 
  6. WARNING: FIRE INCLUDED IN THIS STEP! Once the pan is removed from the heat, I set mine on a trivet on the kitchen table, pour in your cognac (minus the reserved tablespoon). Now carefully ignite the contents in the pan with a long lighter or a long match. It will shock you at first (I had my boyfriend do this part because I was scared but honestly it wasn't even that serious haha) Swish the pan with the flame going lightly until the flame dies down--and no worries it will!
  7. Bring your pan back to medium heat and add the heavy cream. Bring this to a boil for 5 minutes or so until it thickens. Make sure to consistently whisk the contents to make sure everything is mixing well together. 
  8. Once it is thickened to your liking, taste it, if it needs it, add more salt and or the extra reserved cognac :) 
  9. Add the steaks back to the pan and pour some of the delicious cognac heavy cream mixture over them and serve!
Photos of my Steak au Poivre rendezvous in the Kitchen

I hope you are able to enjoy this delicious steak recipe soon---writing this up made me want it again!

Steak and Peppercorn Goodness,


Friday, April 12, 2013

A Very Peplum Weekend: OOTD's, IMATS & Birthday Parties!

La Caverna NYC
This past weekend was such a whirlwind for me. I did so many exciting things!

Friday: After work I shot home to get ready for my best friends birthday celebration in the city. She chose a really interesting fun venue that literally made you feel like you were in a cave, enjoying a drink, with a hookah and a DJ hahah It was unlike any other place I have ever been and I truly had a blast. Not only were the walls and ceilings made to resemble crystallized rock formations that you would actually find in a cave, but the place was underground therefore giving it a really cozy feel.

My best friend, the birthday girl and I :)
new one
You guys didn't think I would have a photo with my boyfriend with his eyes fully open did you? lol ughhh!!

Here is my OOTD for the Birthday Celebration:

  • Shoes: Nine West
  • Leather Panel Leggings: Zara
  • White cap sleeve peplum top: Forever 21
  • Blazer: H&M
  • Purse: Juicy Couture
Saturday: After getting home rather late from the night out in the city, I woke up at 7am to prep for IMATS NYC! I had been looking forward to this day since last years IMATS. I love getting to see everyone and buying all the goodies :) I had such an amazing time there. I actually didn't buy much, two things for a future giveaway and a set of makeup brushes and some nail polish. I was going to vlog but couldn't get accustomed to talking to a camera in public haha maybe one day soon I'll suck it up and do it ;)

IMATS OOTD and Photos:

  • F21 Necklace
  • Express Red Peplum Shirt
  • Express Black blazer
  • MK Rosegold watch
  • Express leggings (visible in other photos)
  • Not pictured are my shoes: Tory Burch Reva Flats in Black
  • Purse: Juicy Couture
@makeupbydenise and myself :)
I had to leave IMATS early to do some car shopping--if only dealerships were open on Sundays! Anywho, it all paid off because I bought a new car! 2013 Black Nissan Altima SL, she is a beauty for sure---still trying to come up with the perfect name for her---yes I am one of those haha Any suggestions?

Did any of you go to IMATS NYC? If so how did you like it and what did you get?!

A very peplum weekend,


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

LIEBSTER Blogger Award!

"The Liebster Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. It's a great way for new and undiscovered bloggers to meet new people, get more followers and find new blogs that they want to follow"

I was nominated for the Liebster Award guys!! Nika over at Nika's Beauty Land  nominated me and I adore her blog so I was thrilled :) Head over to see her blog for some fun beauty posts :)

The Rules
  • List 11 facts about yourself
  • Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you
  • Ask 11 new questions for the bloggers you nominate
  • Choose 11 new bloggers with less than 200 followers to nominate
  • Let everyone know they've been picked
11 Random Facts About Me: 
  1. I love koala bears and would seriously own one as a pet if I could :)
  2. After becoming a psychology major I psychoanalyze everyone I meet without realizing it.
  3. I speak baby language to my dog---she loves it what can I say?? haha Yes, I'm one of those!
  4. I like decorating outdoors--particularly planting flowers in the Spring
  5. I am super excited to be attending the 3rd Annual NYC IMATS this weekend :)
  6. My makeup collection isn't that big, I tend to feel bad for buying more than 1 or 2 things per category (ex: concealer etc) unless I am trying out something for a product review here on my blog. 
  7. I have many nice things but I am super budget oriented...probably why I have the nice things I do, I am able to splurge sometimes from the things I have saved on! haha 
  8. I have only dyed my hair once--don't know that I would do it again, never say never though ;)
  9. I went to an all girls high school and only had 34 people in my graduating class...'05 woohoo! 
  10. My boyfriend went to an all boys school, we didn't meet until college though and before attending the college we met at, we were contemplating attending another college..the same one! You could say we are meant to be :) <3
  11. Blogging is my guilty pleasure..that and reality tv :)
Nika's Questions For Me: 
1. Who was the first person you told about writing a blog?
  • My boyfriend was the first person I told, he was bound to find out because I spent so much time perfecting my very first post..perfectionist right here lol
2. In what you are interested beside beauty?
  • I love writing and helping others..I am said to be a very good advice giver :) I also love to cook---if you are familiar with my blog you know I post many recipes. I also love photography and outdoor activities..oh and let's not forget traveling!
3. If you could buy just one brand of makeup for the resr of your life, which would it be?
  • I have had great luck with L'Oreal products so I would probably choose them for the drugstore and outside of the drugstore I would choose Urban Decay! 
4. How much time you dedicate to your blog, per week?
  • 3-4 hours a week 
5. Who is your favourite beauty blogger, why?
  • I really like reading everyone's posts, it is hard to choose a favorite but if I absolutely had to it would probably be Kandee Johnson. After meeting her, she and her writing is hard not to love!
6. What is your dream job?
  • My dream job would be traveling the world with my husband and children exposing ourselves to all of the unique cultures of this world. I would travel for a month or two at each "site" and volunteer my skills and give tons of love and hopefully hope to those in need. I would love my children to grow in this type of environment and befriend children of all shapes and sizes while becoming little philanthropists at the same time :) What a rewarding experience?! This isn't really a job because I would love it so much it would be hard to consider it work!
7. Share one beauty trick, the best one.
  • Drink tons of water and moisturize before bed. I live by those two rules--that and change your bed sheets weekly, this really helps maintain clear healthy looking skin, simple but very worthwhile!
8. What advice would you give for beginners on blogger?
  • I've been asked this before and I always say the same thing, write about what you love--whatever that may be. Write like you are speaking to friends, that is when you are most honest!
9. Do you wear any makeup when you are home?
  • I rarely wear makeup during the week unless it's date night or another special occasion. I like to let my face "breathe" during the week. 
10. How do you apply make up (with brushes, fingers)?
  • Depends, some things apply better with fingers and some better with brushes :)
11. Which person is most special in your life?

  •  Must I choose just one?! :( lol I would say friends and family BUT since I must choose just one, I would say my boyfriend. Almost 8 years later and he still gives me butterflies <3 
 My Questions for Nominees
  1. What are your favorite types of posts to do?
  2. Do you prefer BB Creams or foundation or nothing at all?
  3. Favorite drugstore makeup brand
  4. What is your biggest challenge when it comes to blogging?
  5.  Are you more prone to read blogs that are visually appealing or content appealing?
  6. Who inspired you to start blogging?
  7. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
  8. Which Spring beauty trend are you looking forward to most?
  9. Do you watch YouTube videos and if so, which are some of your favorite channels to watch?
  10. Have you ever been to an IMATS? If so, which one?
  11. How long have you been blogging?
My Nominees:
Take a moment to check out all of the bloggers I nominated above, they all have something unique to offer :)