Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Things I Love

I love when people can vouch for beauty products. I know everyone is different, but I'm more likely to try something if someone else has had luck with it. So I'm going to go through a list of products that I really like and maybe some things that I'm still searching for. So maybe that's where you guys can help out!

Speak of helping out, why oh why are my blogger columns all wonky? Any ideas, anyone, anyone??

Anyway, on to the fun stuff.

Face Wash- I've been using Philosphy's Purity Made Simple for the past year and I really like it and my face has only gotten better since I've used it. I know the price tag at $32 can be a little scary, but I bought an 8 oz container (for $20) last April and I just went to see how much I have left and I've only used 1/3 of the bottle since then and I wash my face every night. It may not last you that long, but it surely goes a long way and I think it's b/c the wash isn't thick in consistency.

Moisturizer- Another Philosophy product here and it's Hope in a Jar. They now have Hope in a Jar with SPF 20 which I plan to get next, but I put this on day and night and it makes my skin so smooth and it has a nice clean smell.

Spot Treatment: I have tried everything to clear my face up. I've been on antibiotics, prescription face cream, Proactiv, etc.. You name it, I've tried it. A couple of years ago I just happened to switch my foundation and add a spot gel at night and miraculously my face has been clear since then. The spot gel that I still love and use is Neutrogena Rapid Clear Acne Defense Lotion and I've had a lot of luck with this in the past and I still use it as needed.

Foundation- Bare Minerals. I know there are a lot of people that don't have luck with Bare Escentuals, but I don't think I could ever go back to liquid now that I've gotten used to the light feeling of this makeup. As I said earlier, I really attribute my face clearing up to the switch over to the mineral makeup and I really encourage people to try it. I do wear a little bit of liquid concealer underneath if I feel like I need it in a specific area so I feel like I have plenty of coverage. Don't let the $25 price tag scare you away. I would think that for good liquid foundation you may pay the same amount, except that this large jar can last me almost a year and I use a decent amount each day.

Concealer- The concealer that I use underneath the powder if I feel too naked or if I just have a day where I need a little more coverage is Almay's Clear Complexion Concealer. It has a little bit of salicyclic acid in it as well which helps combat your face breaking out so that you don't feel so heavy from the liquid aspect. If I don't use this then I use Bare Mineral's Well Rested powder to tone down anything that I need to. It says that it's for eyes, but it's great for blemishes or redness as well.

Blush- I'm not entirely sold on any blush right now. I love a Stila blush that I have that is in a ready made pallette but I have no clue what the actual color is. I also have a MAC blush (Plum Foolery) that gives me good color, but not the shimmer that the Stila blush has.

Eyeshadow- I like MAC's colors. Grand Entrance, Flip, and 100 Strokes are all great together or you can wear Grand Entrance or Flip on their own. I do love Bareminerals (although the loose powder takes longer to apply), Stila's colors, and Smashbox (especially the trios). I don't have a must have color, but I would love any recommendations that people are drawn to. Eyeshadows are one of my most favorite things to play with.

Eyeliner- This is a cheap one. I've always loved Cover Girl's Perfect Point eyeliner. I have tried more expensive brands and I still come back to this one. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Mascara- This is another one that I'm not entirely sold on. I'm using MAC's Zoom Lash right now in combination with Maybeline's Lash Discovery (Love it!). I like this mascara ok, but I still feel a little clumpy.

Lipgloss: I love love love Poof by Bare Escentuals. You can put a dot in the middle of your lips and it makes your lips looks so much bigger or you can just wear it as a regular gloss the way I do, but I think it's the perfect color.

Eyelash Curler- I have a cheap one that is insanely gross and needs replacing, anyone have suggestions?

I may add some more products that I like in another post or add some colors as I find things that work but maybe some of you guys will be encouraged to try some of this stuff if you were on the fence. I also hope you'll have some suggestions for me. I'm truly a girly girl at heart. I love this stuff.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Bananas + Chocolate = Yum!

Jenny posted a recipe for Roasted Banana Brownie bites over on Picky Palate the other day and I've just been eyeing a bunch of bananas that I've had waiting for them to ripen. They finally seemed good to go on Friday so I took off to Bed Bath and Beyond and got some mini muffin tins. If you've never used a mini muffin tin, they are so stinkin cute that I want to make everything into mini versions now.

Anyway back to the actual recipe. These are absolutely amazing. I had plans to give these away and they've been very well received and gobbled down =) Go make these!

Roasted Banana Bread Brownie Bites
(Source: Picky Palate)

3 large ripe bananas, sliced into 1/2 inch slices
3 Tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
3 Tablespoons packed light brown sugar

1 brownie mix, 9x13 inch size
1/4 Cup water
3 eggs

1/2 Cup chocolate chips
2-3 Tablespoons heavy cream

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place sliced bananas into a baking dish. Place butter evenly over bananas and sprinkle brown sugar on top. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Remove and let cool for 10 minutes.

2. Reduce oven to 350 degrees F. Place brownie mix, water, eggs and bananas into a large mixing bowl. Mix until just combined. Scoop mixture into mini cupcake pan or mini cheesecake pan about 3/4 way full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean from center.

3. Melt chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl. Stir to smooth then add heavy cream until glossy and smooth. Dip brownie bites into chocolate and place an M&M in the center. Serve warm or room temperature.