Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Favorites of 2013!

 It's time people, the ultimate favorites post of year!

Let's start off with skin care!

Cleanser of the year is the Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser. Hands down the best I have tried to date that balances out my skin. A tube last me about a year so I see it as an indulgent steal. The best facial mask I encountered this year was the Origins Clear Improvement. It really helps suck out the nasties in one's skin and leave a purified finish. Toner was my Thayers Witch Hazel which I used about a dozen bottles of. My Clarins sunscreen stole the sun protecting show with it's thin consistency and fast absorbing formula. Bioderma is the best make up remover I ever found and I have refused to touch make up wipes unless absolutely necessary which is not very often with this mini bottle for travel! Moisturizers of the year are Olay Sensitive Skin Beauty Fluid for most of the year but for colder months the Kiehls Ultra Facial Cream is now my new winter favorite. Effeclar Duo is any acne proned person's best friend- it sure was mine! Lastly for eye cream of the year, the Bobbi Brown Extra Repair cream is a firm favorite. I have been using the same tub since last October and still have a huge amount left, so this may seem expensive at first, but lasts ages! The extra thick and moisturizing consistency absorbs beautifully to sooth dry eye areas.

Make Up Favorites!

For base I had no primer favorites but base favorites went to Jemma Kidd Light as Air foundation ( discontinued- sorry!) and the Dior BB cream. 1 pump of the BB cream I find it too much coverage for myself, so I use half a pump on a brush that I spritz with water before hand, this provides the best sheer coverage finish. For under eyes I loved Boujouis healthy mix concealer most of the year but the end of year favorite is the fake up concealer from Benefit. With a formula which is creamy and hydrating, I do not require an eye cream prior application for a smooth swipe, the formula is enriched with Vitamin E and somehow leads to no creases to boot! Fab job Benefit! The powder of the year is hands down the NARS Translucent Crystal Pressed powder. It does not feel like any other powder I ever encountered but provides the most non matte but not oily sweep of powder on the face. This products leaves instant results which look reminiscent to when you apply a mattifying powder and it's starting to lose it's power but still is holding on. This powder provides decent oil control and the perfect finish. One of the best buys of 2013! For blot powder I loved my Chanel Pressed Powder. Another non cakey finish, both excellent, I prefer NARS for a more natural look, and the Chanel for a more polished look.
For powder touch ups I loved my Trish McEvoy Sheer Blush brush in 2B for pin point sheer applications.

For bronzer the favorites of the year are the Chanel Les Beige's Powder in No 30 for the most au natural hint of color with fabulous texture have been searching for.
I can't forget my Bobbi Brown Bronze Shimmer Brick, I have been slapping that on my cheeks about 90% of the time I wore make up since it's discovery. Not too dark if used with a fluffy brush. Can be used as a bronzer, but I prefer to top off all my cheek colors with this baby to warm them up, and ultimately flatter my skin tone along with giving a touch of color.

In the world of blush I had two go to's for the year. MAC Peaches which is my favorite MAC bush ever, and Rimmel's Santa Rose when I am paler to add the perfect healthy dose of sheer illuminated color. Tom Ford's Love Lust had to be the best color I found in 2013. Incredibly flattering and most head turning in my collection. Bobbi Brown's Nectar is the barely there pink flush I have been looking for that "no make up, makeup" look. Laura Mercier Mocha Spice is my new my cheekbones but better shade - move over Doucer! Milani's Luminoso is a repeat favorite and one of the best blushes I ever found, period. Stila's Peony was the cream blush winner of the year. A bit dull in the pan, but this best selling shade offers a true very natural and pretty look to the face without obvious pinks on the cheeks.
Highlighter of the year is MAC's Soft and Gentle.

 For the eyes my two most reached for palettes for everyday wear was Dior's Incognito which is perfect for anyone working in a conservative environment or want a more subtle look to the eyes. If you are the kind of person who likes simple no fuss shadows, The Urban Decay Naked Basics palette will be the perfect fit. The shade Naked 2 is my most crease color ever.
For overall palettes, I think my most used are from Smashbox. I think the brand makes excellent palettes that are not as spoken about in the beauty world, but are some are my absolute favorites.
The best eye brush I purchased this year was from Ecotools. Their airbrush concealer brush is amazing for the crease!

For the world of eye shadow singles, this year's favorites were MAC's Moleskine (LE), Bobbi Brown's Sandy Gold, and Dr. Haushka's eye shadow in 01.  Eye brow product of the year was Sonia Kashuk's Tinted Brow Gel which graced my brows about 95% of the year. I would apply it straight from the tube daily and let go of things like brow powder, pencils, spooly's and gels. This was the all in one I have been looking for. 
Eye liners of the year are Bobbi Brown's Caviar Ink Gel Liner, MAC's Coffee Pencil,  Revlon's Colorstay in Black, and Stila's Smudgeproof in Damsel.

Lip products were a short but sweet list. Rimmels Nude Delight is the best peachy nude lipstick I have in my collection, NARS Isola Bella Satin Lip Pencil is the best dark nude I ever found and I stick with daily-did I mention perfect formula? Revlon's Coral reef lip gloss was the summer favorite, and to top all my favorites off was Chanel's lip Gloss in Genie which looks amazing over any color I smack down first.
Benefit's Benetint was my stain favorite of the year.

Nail polish of the year is my NEW favorite of all time: OPI's Don't Touch my Tutu! The best my nails but far better color I have found thus far. Did I mention it can go 7 days with zero chips? Top coat on of course :)

Ok, that's it! I'm surprised if anyone made it to the end of this, but if so, bravo!
Hope you will all be sharing some of your favorites!!
And oh yes...


Finished Products October-December

Happy New Years Eve!
While I battle the beginnings of yet another cold to welcome the New Year, I hope to blast the last two final posts of 2013. Admittingly I did not want to post these final empties as they are a bit sparse, but I just need to wrap up the year with a count of finished products!

I'll try to keep it short and sweet many of these are repeat products.

For skin care I'm sure you all will recognize a few familiar products.

Olay Moisturizer for Sensitive skin, Thayers Toner, and Neutrogena Cleanser have all been avid hero's in my skin care for the year. All are staples for me and I see myself continuing to use these products for the next upcoming year. Not pictured is a bottle of Bioderma, another staple, and finished product. I tossed the bottle during my move. 
A large bottle of Moroccan Oil was finally used up. This took nearly the entire year to use up and I loved it for my hair, but I have recently been using something in it's place which I love even more! Future details to come. I still recommend Moroccan Oil for the hair and am glad I was able to discover this hair savior. 
For misc. skin care I've used up a travel bath and body works shower gel ( these are good but only when on sale are they worth the $), a clarasonic brush head, and a dr. brandt eye cream. Honestly this eye cream had like 2 uses in the sample and I recall nothing about this product. I doubt I was wow-ed.
Chanel's Ultra Correction eye cream was a surprise sample. This tiny tube yielded over two months worth of eye cream for night. I really felt this working on my fine lines and was surprised at how much I enjoyed this! I would consider purchasing the full size- though I have heard Chanel skin care is full of silicones so I will have to check the full ingredients list prior purchase. All in all, a great feeling product, and excellent sample.
Lastly for misc. under body and skin care is the Sephora brand express nail polish remover which I love. I heard it's quite bad for your nails from other reviewers but I really never found anything outside direct acetone to remove my nail polish in one literal swipe. One cotton pad can remove polish from all 10 fingers with this stuff. I buy back ups during the annual F&F sale, and still continue to love and use this.

Make up time!
I finished quite a few mascaras these final months.

The Maybelline One by One Mascara was possibly the best mascara I tried this year. I loved the length and definition this provided with just the smallest but noticeable amount of volume.  A definite repurchase! After the falsies flared, this is my second favorite from the Maybelline volume line.
Majorlica Majorca Lash Primer was something I purchased in Asia. When my beloved Shisiedo lash primer changed their formula I started shopping around for replacements but this is not the one for me. This provides extra length but zero volume, and makes eye make up harder to remove than my Shisiedo primer. It's a good product if you are looking for length but zero volume for me. I would not repurchase this. 
Mally's Volumuizing Mascara was an excellent product to enter into the Mally brand. This mascara provides great volume and curl without smudging. The only negative is this is a bit hard to find.  I purchased mine from Henry Bendalls in NY, and it can be found on QVC, but otherwise it is a bit hard to just grab and go. I still would recommend this, and found it an excellent product.
YSL Shocking mascara was unfortunately for me a let down. I heard so much hype about the volume of this baby and so many people claiming it as their HG, but I disliked this product for a few reasons. First, it's super wet. I was constantly removing almost all the product from the wand each time I used it. If I skipped this step, my lashes would fall instantly after being curled due to the weight of this product. This product was also insanely frangranced. It was reminiscent perfume, and irritated my eyes to a level where I was unable to finish this mascara due to the amount of irritation. I would not recommend this mascara if you have sensitive eyes, and do not like wet mascaras.

Along with mascaras, I was able to finish off three lip products.
The Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfecor in 01 was something I am so happy I finished. It took forever to get through this. I believe there is more product in this tube than most glosses, so if you feel it's expensive you are getting more product than average. This product is very hyped and I just found it to be ok...
It's pretty and sheer with some shimmer which is only visible in certain lights. It's non sticky and I think that's the key reason so many people love it. I do not see myself purchasing another one of these, as they were not the end all be all gloss I was expecting but I still enjoyed using it. This is excellent for everyday wear where no fuss or mirror is needed.
Revlon's Lip Butter in Juicy Papaya, which I think is the prettiest color of the lip butter line! Nice amount of sheer pigment, glowy without shimmer, and hydrating. I loved this all summer and it's one of the few shades I will get again!
Lastly for lip products is the Sugar rose lip balm. This is a smaller size but I have gone through two of the full sizes in the past. These feel nice on the lips and some of them such as the rose shade have a sheer but pretty pigment. I do think the full sized versions are over priced, so I recommend trying these in the multiple sample kits Fresh provides for these lip balms.

The last finished make up product I used up but is not pictured is the NYX eye brow cake in Taupe/Ash. I highly recommend this eye brow powder. I think the powder lasts all day, the price is amazing, and they have a good variety of shades. I am currently trying the Anastasia brow powder since my NYX finished off, but I prefer the color of NYX, so that is the brow powder I will be repurchasing once I finish the Anastasia.

That's it people! The last empties of 2013~ !
Let's hope for plenty of new product testing and empties for 2014!
Thank you so much for reading these though the years, and I hope they were helpful!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Finest Waving Wand in all the Land!

For years I have struggled with my pin straight hair. Especially when it comes to the hair category most desirable, but for me the farthest from achievable. The "Effortless" Wave.
Effortless? HA! That's a crock!

After years of trying curling irons, twirling with GHD's, sleeping in buns, and wrapping my hair in fat ribbons I gave up on the perfect Lauren Conrad-esq wave look.  Don't look at me like I'm the only one. Google her, more specifically her perfect hair, and tell me it's not a bit enviable.

In my continued search for such a wave I came across the best tool to achieve this California style wave on my wind swept Big Apple hair.

Under the titled company of Babyliss in Europe, Conair or whatever name you call it, kinda rules the drugstore hair styling hot tools world, and this my dear readers, is a winner.

This clip less iron has brought me 1 step closer to achieving that great wave effect on my hair.

Below are the effects:

Immediate effects- I do the whole curl away from your face and the barrel upside down jazz

Initial waves are big and bouncy. I avoid curling the ends of my hair and wrap them all together in the beginning so they can try to hold their shape if I want them to stay all day. A spritz of hair spray and I'm off after a bit of finger combing them apart for a looser feel.
It feels a bit old fashioned kingdom in the first stage without a little hair ruffling to make it more modern looking. 

For a more beachy vibe, some salt spray can also be added at this step.

3 hours later. Tucked into a scarf and jacket and removed twice.

Looser feel, far more natural and what I am going for.

3 further hours later

Still loose and more lived in. Most likely my ideal state. This is my hair after being in a scarf and coat 2x more times. It was a busy day...

At the end of the night

The waves have died down into just small bits at the end, but I am satisfied with the result. When you have very straight hair, holding a curl is not an idea you hold on to.

I've tried several styling tools for hair, many from Conair, most of them good, but this is by far my favorite. 
Hope this mini showcase helped a few women out there reach their effortless hair dreams!

Monday, December 23, 2013

In my Bag

Lindt Dark Chocolate Strawberry Bar, Chanel Pressed Powder, Trish McEvoy Brush, Chanel gloss in 52, Contact lens solution, change purse, hair wax, pencil, hand cream

Friday, December 20, 2013

Current Dissapointing Products, and some new Arrivals

We all try so hard now a days, to save money. With the holidays rolling around we have in mind perhaps gifts to purchase or delicious foods for the family feast, but with all these sales you sometimes, succumb...and purchase a wee bit for yourself. 
Eeeeee I won't tell! Shhh, but even with sale prices, and backed up research before a semi spontaneous moment, we all sometimes feel like we purchased a dud
"Drat!" Waste of money, waste of time, bahhh and now to use it up! Insert groan face.

Well, even though I try to research, and attempt restraint, here are the few products I regret for the second half of 2013.

Lumene Toner: I convinced my fiance to purchase this when he needed a toner, because I had heard good things of Lumene, though admittedly never tried it myself. Mistake one...
There is nothing wrong with this toner, it just does nothing. No brightness, not as refreshing as it claims, no radiance nor detox as I see it labeled. I don't really see it aimed for normal/combination skin as it feels like water and seems to take ages to dry. 
You know the ones where you fan yourself in the bathroom for ages...
I really should have looked this up  before purchase because this was about $13 bucks. It's not an arm and a leg but really money down the drain.
Even my fiance didn't even use it, I think he caught on it wasn't working much magic so I've been trying to use this up because I feel guilty I recommended this...

Chanel Emervielle Cream Shadow: I waited months to purchase this...I waited until I actually finished a cream shadow before buying this to feel less guilty but I regret this purchase. I've tried many champagne cream shadows and this one is a bit too frosty for my taste. It reminds me of a cream version of Stila's kitten with a less of a white sheen. I've also heard these dry up quickly, so I will be trying to salvage this, the double C's means $ that I don't plan on wasting.

Essie's Looking For Love and Instant Hot: I love Essie polishes, but some formulas are so hit and miss..."Looking for Love" looks to be a gorgeous baby blue but it takes about 5 perfectly dried opaque thick coats to get the color you see on the bottle, and around coat of semi dried three, I feel like tossing the thing. "Instant hot" is not as sheer but very streaky and I just don't have the skills nor surgeon steady hands to apply this to ever look nice.

Chanel Pencil Liner in Jade Black: Another Chanel! Drat 2x! Now this pencil comes in the most gorgeous green black shade I have ever come across and have never been able to dupe, but it just smears so bad on me within an hour its just not worth the wiping and re applying. Not what I paid for anyway! Granted it's not claimed to be waterproof ( the waterproof Chanel pencil also smeared on me if that assists anyone) but I will be avoiding the brands pencils going forward.
The color is still gorgeous...

MAC's  Plink! : I've really fallen out of love with many of my MAC lipsticks but I can still wear most of them. This is one, I really cant. The color for some reason looks terrible on me. I believe many people refer to this as a seashell pink? On my lips its quite a yellow pink with a very slippery feel and coating. In other words this shade makes me look ill. I'm not bashing all MAC lipsticks, nope! it's just this particular shade will be going B2M without much use.

Maybelline Dream Lumi Pen: Ok, this I really just dislike. All the writing from the packaging was completely removed within 2 whopping days of owning this. I have the "Radiant" shade which is quite pink/salmon toned which I normally enjoy for highlighting my under eyes. There is something about this formula that looks so chalky under my eyes and leads my under eye darkness to be covered (badly) and look rather grey colored...
I far prefer the Maybelline Age Rewind concealer which I will be repurchasing once I finish this - it should take a while though...
Did I mention how much this creases on me...ALOT.

Well, there you have it. The last few misses of 2013.
While I attempt to persevere through finishing these products, I know these new babies in my collection should help ease the pain. Let's hope the below don't come up in an early 2014 misses post!

Guerlain Bronzer, Benefit's Gimme Brow, Sephora Matte Lip Stain

 Last Sephora VIB purchases of the year. Promise!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

My Make Up Bag Love, and it's Contents

It's snowing the weekend before Christmas, doesn't that sound romantic?
I'm choosing to think of cocoa and a warm blanket instead of snow shoveling and iced sidewalks as I look at my Christmas tree.

Do you know what I have wished for the last few years to be under the tree for me?
A product I want, but would not buy myself. Something in my opinion regardless of countless amazing reviews, is quite frankly over priced. Not a little, a LOT. 
A Prada Nylon Make Up bag. 
Don't roll your eyes please, it's quite a classic cult item!

I always assumED it's something I would use daily for years - they're apparently quite long lasting to the verge of indestructible, despite being made from nylon, but the price has always been more like, "No, thanks...just looking."

It's not the fancy label I was looking at, it was the construction. 
Nylon is plushy, movable, squishable, you can jam pack nylon and it will just make room in itself by contorting itself into a suitable and movable shape. The sides also are important, make up bags need a bit of material there to stretch out so you can open it's mouth wide and see what's going on inside.
Nothing worse than being late, looking for something at the bottom of your make up bag that will not open, and being deemed high maintenance by others, terrible.

Well guess what, until the day I hit the mega,  I have found an alternative to use until that glorious big win day! ( Never in my life...)

Presenting the Muji make up bag.

Oh, it looks non-descript alright, especially since I purchased the very daring color of black- yeah right. But it fits all my knit picky requirements, so let's take a tour.

It comes with two zippers so it opens a few ways, it's made of nylon so it's squishy enough to hold more crap than it was probably was made for, and I can toss it in my bag along with throwing it in a  washing machine with little guilt.

It also has this very well designed and must needed item in it's construct:


See that little bit of polka dot there as I open the bag? Why is that important? Well, because that small bit of ingenious design let's me do this!


Guess who can now see everything in the bag because the mouth opens so wide. 
That wide mouth is just a requirement for me, and thank you Muji for building a make up bag right.

Now after all that blabber about my case, let's move on to the contents, shall we?

Honestly, I'm telling the truth now here... I don't carry all this stuff with daily. I bring oil blotting papers and chap stick (sometimes) but if I am ever having a long day, or just one full of events, then these are my trusted hand bag essentials.

Laura Mercier Hand Cream, Benetint, NARS Isola Bella Satin Lip Pencil, YSL Glossy Stain in 11, Korres Lip Butter in Plum,  Fresh Roller ball Perfume, Chanel pressed powder, Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in 01, F21 Mirror, Burts Bees Cuticle Butter, Benefit's Watts Up!, Blistex, Tweezerman Nail File, Walgreens Oil Blotting Papers, Trish McEvoy Sheer Blush Brush in 2B

I use the Benetint, Satin Lip Pencil and Clarins Lip Perfector for my day lip product choices and rotate them around. For night either the YSL or the Korres Lip butter - sometimes I mix them and love the deep fuscia berry hybrid they create.
I apply the cuticle butter (a new purchase) whenever I'm just waiting around and have a few moments to apply the product. Carrying it around really makes you use it more! The Watts Up for just touch ups if I go out at night, along with the pressed powder. The brush I use to apply the powder is meant for blush but I hate being powdery looking so I just pin point with this baby. The oil blotting papers are necessary but I would not recommend this brand, I just mis placed my Boscia ones and purchased this as an SOS substitute. Hand cream is always an essential, this scent is a bit more festive for the holidays along with a bit of lux feeling, and a roller ball for freshening up!

Hope you enjoyed the mini tour and review.
Would love to know everyone else's hand bag essentials along with favorite make up bag!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Cooking with LilladyLife - My Everything Sauce!

It all started when I was in a waiting room. I looked up all the four corners, lost interest with my phone, and checked the clock countless times thinking when I was able to finally get up. I picked up a magazine and saw a photo, a delicious looking plate of mash potatoes with a side of some kind of meat and vegetable in a red sauce. I thought it looked like kale, and sausage. Before reading the recipe I was told it was my turn and away I went leaving the magazine but remembering the photo.

That night I decided to try to re create that picture, and since tweaking this recipe a few times I have adapted the vegetables and carbs and found it to be a winner regardless of what it's accompaniment is. This works with both potatoes, and pasta. I never tried it with rice but below is my recipe - attempt... My everything sauce that I prefer with mashed potatoes but my fiance prefers with pasta.

The recipe is flexible and lacks measurements ( sorry ) but I believe creative cooks will be able to master this with the below guidelines. 

The below are the steps to be served with pasta.


1 tsbp of oil - I used canola
1 package of pasta - I used wheat
1 package of sausage - I mixed hot and sweet with ground turkey
1 bundle of kale or any dark green vegetable of your choice
1 onion
4 cloves of garlic
1 large can of crushed tomatoes
1 package of mushrooms
Seasonings: Salt, pepper - optional are Italian seasoning or oregano, meat flavorings, red pepper, garlic or onion powder (as additional) paprika, nutmeg

 1. Heat up a large pot with water to boil your pasta. I used 3/4th of a pasta package for 5 servings. On another burner heat a large pan with the cooking oil of your choice. As the oil heats chop the mushrooms, onions, and garlic. 

*Tip*Mushrooms absorb moisture so it is important to clean these with a damp cloth, as opposed to under the sink.
Washing them under water, when added to oil will cause splatter.

Add the onion and garlic first to the pan on medium heat. Stir until aromatic. It is important that the garlic does not burn as it will make your dish taste bitter. If the temperature of your oil is too hot, and the garlic is burning, turn down the heat and add a lid to the pan. This will make the ingredients "sweat" and be less prone to burning while you wait for your pasta water to boil.

2. As the onions and garlic sweat, and the pasta water boils, it's time to tackle the meat. Today I used sausage and ground turkey. Anything you have in the house will work, but if you use any type of sausage make sure to score the meat and unravel the innards from the skin. It is removed easily.

The spicy and sweet versions of sausage are what I recommend for this dish as they deliver a larger amount of flavor. If too fatty, they can be substituted with ground turkey or ground chicken in leaner levels, or as I did, cut in with the sausage.

3. Place the meat(s) of your choice in the pan with the onions and garlic which should now be soft and translucent looking. This will take a bit of elbow grease but break apart the meat with a wooden spoon. 
After the meat is broken apart and browning, add in the spices of your choice.
Here I used Italian Seasoning, Adobo, and Red Pepper Flake.
If I had paprika I would have added that, along with ground nutmeg which is complimentary to dark greens.

4. The water should now be boiling, add salt to the water once it's fully boiling before adding the pasta. This is your chance to season your pasta.

If you did not add enough water to your pot the pasta will boil over and require more water. If your pot is not large enough and you have added in all the water you can place a wooden spoon across the top of the pot to prevent it from boiling over. This method will mean you will not be able to place a lid on your pasta pot and it will take longer to cook, but not everyone has a huge pot in their arsenal.

5. As the pasta is boiling, stir and cook the meat until done. Once fully cooked, you will able to taste the meat and adjust the seasonings for your taste. 
This is when I add in the sliced mushrooms.

I add in the mushroom now because I don't want them to become too soft in the final dish and want an earthier taste. If you want your dish to be more vegetable based, cook the mushrooms earlier and they will further soften but release a more meatier taste. Substitute all the meat with mushroom for a vegetarian option. *Tip*

When you add the mushrooms will be based on your taste preference.
6. When you pasta is done, strain the pasta out in a strainer and put the pasta right back in the hot pot it was just boiling in and stick the lid on top. The hot pot with the lid will help evaporate all the remaining liquid that was not removed from the strainer. Once fully dry, remove the lid. If you keep the lid on the steam can further cook the pasta leading to a more mushy texture. *Tip*

If you like at this step you can also add a bit of cooking oil to the pasta to prevent stickiness.  *Tip*

  Now that the pasta is done, it's time to finish the sauce.

7. Add in your vegetable to the pan of cooked meats and mushrooms. 

*Tip* In the below photos I used kale but broccoli rabe is excellent with sausage to add a level of bitterness and dimension.

It will look over flowering. Pack as much as you can. 
Scrape the vegetables a bit to make room and place the lid right on top.
You may need to squish down a bit.

It will take a few minutes but all the vegetables will cook down in about 10 minutes, during this time I would advise to lower the heat to light-medium.

As the vegetables are cooking down it's time to tackle the sauce. 
No need to buy pre made pasta sauce. Many of them contain unnecessary ingredients and can be heavy in salt.
Grab a large can of crushed tomatoes instead. Far less ingredients, always on the bottom shelf of the tomato based products aisle, and usually on sale! (or sold for pretty cheap)
Your own seasonings from your dish along with a few adjustments from your own spice cabinet will transform this already great product.

9. Add the sauce to your meat and cooked down vegetables. To add creaminess I decided to add a bit of reduced fat cream cheese. You don't have to have very fancy cheeses, if you have them use them, but all I had was Philadelphia cheese, but I like to add this to pasta as it adds a bit of richness, and melts easily!

Add seasoning to your pasta sauce if it further requires additional items. 
Plate over pasta and enjoy!

*Tip* This also tastes equally as comforting with mash potatoes as the carb component. 

I hope you all enjoyed this little non original, but comforting recipe from my kitchen.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Liese Prettia Hair Dye Review and Demo

When it comes to hair dye I am a loyal but late customer. I always choose colors which are slightly lifting to my natural hair color because not only do I still want to look like me, but I'm the kind of woman who knows they won't go for a touch up until the roots have shown for a good hmm two months? LOL. 
Yes, when roots begin to show on me, guess who notices? No one! ( I think)
That's how adventurous I am with hair color, but color it I do. I prefer a darker brown hair on myself as opposed to a near black. I think it softens my features and makes my sometimes very pale face less of a contrast with my dark hair - personal taste. 

I have been a loyal fan of Palty Hair dye for years but my recent shopping trip left me to find it out of stock in all the usual locations so I bit the bullet - and remembered I already payed the bus fare to make it to the store and purchased a new dye. A bubble dye! A new-er style of dying your hair which claims ease and great results.

Here is the dye I chose - there was no English on the box but I think it's called Glossy Brown- according to Google.

Now some of you may see the color of the hair modeled on the box and scream the other way, it looks a bit orangy. I assure you, if you have dark hair it won't look anything like that photo...
I've chosen hair dyes with a barbie blond on the cover and came out with a chestnut brown!

Now here is my "Before" shots before the dye. 

Sorry if my hair looks greasy, I just finished Blogilates before these photos - the holiday waistline came early this year! But since you need to wash your hair to remove the bubbles I figure I might as well make the wash worth it.

As you can see my hair in the sun is more noticeably brown but in no way un natural and looks almost like highlights depending how the sun hits it. 

When you open the package of dye you are presented with the below.

The instructions are all in Japanese but trust me, the pictures are pretty self explanatory.

Now put on your rattiest T shirt - because dye will get on it and cover yourself up with a towel. I have a permanently ruined T shirt and towel I use every time I dye my hair, to contain this mess within my wardrobe. 

Before beginning if you like you can cover your hairline and ears with excess moisturizer so if any dye touches your skin it is easier to remove - I chose to omit this step.

You are provided with a pair of latex gloves and you will now add Bottle #1 into Bottle #2

The instructions show not to shake the dye but to turn it upside down, I did this a few times.

Add on the pump and squeeze the bottle. The bubbles should come out with ease. 
I found this very convenient. Without having to press down on the actual pump but squeeze the bottle makes it far easier to dye your own hair without the assistance of another person.


Now, just whack it on!

I actually had excess hair dye and was just trying to use up as much as I could. I have medium length hair. This was another surprise, usually a box of hair dye barely can cover my head because I have semi thick hair but this had excess which I found very handy.

Now bubble up your head, don't be shy with it, rub it in and create your best Marie Antoinette hair style impersonation.

The instructions state to leave this in your hair for a period of 20-30 minutes.
This is when you really need to periodically check your hair to see when you wish to remove the dye. I knew 20-30 minutes would not color my hair to the desired shade I had in mind so I left it on for 55 minutes. The change is not automatic, so if you are nervous about the color you can keep checking your hair line and hair, but remember taking the dye out too early may lead to very little results so just keep a close eye on the transition. 

When you are ready to remove the dye you need to shampoo your hair thoroughly- warning, afterwards you will need to clean your bath tub - this is just the truth...

You are provided by the brand a packet of conditioner to help repair your hair and lock in moisture that may have been stripped from the dye.

And voila!
Here is my "After"
This is in indoor lighting but by a window. Still wet.

Natural but lifted no?

So what are my thoughts on the bubble dye?

Easy to use with the squeeze bottle, instructions, and excess hair dye product 
Decent range of colors

Can be hard to find in store but can be purchased online
Strong dye smell
Left my hair feeling more damaged than my normal dye - this is with the understanding that I left the dye on my hair for longer than the requested period
A bit more pricey than my normal also Asian, hair dye

I like bubble dye!
Though my hair feels a bit more drained than from my normal previous dye jobs I think it's nothing a good moisture hair mask can't fix in about 2-3 uses and I think the color is decent. 
Though I prefer the hair color of my normal brand, if I can find an equivalent shade in the bubble range I would use it again. The bubble method is far easier than the traditional method of combing the dye through sections of your hair.

I would recommend this brand but would warn about the dryness left on the hair.

Have any of you tried bubble dye? If you have tried Prettia, any good color recommendations?

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