Beauty: Holy Grail Make-Up Bag

I’ve been wearing make up sparingly now for 10 years.  And through many mistakes and bad buys, I’ve finally settled on just a few holy grail products, that together creates a long lasting ‘no make up’ look.  Through the girl wisdom of makeupalley.com, amazon reviews,  and various youtube gurus throughout the years, I’ve  put together a collection of high end, high quality items that I think every girl should have.  So in the order that I would apply them, here goes:

smashbox

1) Smashbox Photo Finish primer – A little goes a long way especially around the nose, eyes, and any rough patches.  This creates a smooth surface to work on.

benefit you rebel litelaura mercier

2) Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer in nude     or     Benefit you rebel lite  - Using a beauty blender sponge I dab and smear a very thin layer of this all over.  I like using benefit on days that I want lighter coverage.  Benefit is more glowy while Laura Mercier is a bit more powdery.

bobbi brown

3) Bobbi brown foundation stick in sand nude – This is a foundation but acts like a concealer.  Using the same sponge I dab this over red areas and dark circles around the eyes.  This formula looks very natural and feels light.

stila

4) Stila stay all day liquid eyeliner – Every employee at Sephora will tell you this is the most long lasting eyeliner on the market and it’s true!  This will not smudge – at all.  If you rub your eyes really hard, it will come off, but even then it does not leave you with raccoon eyes.  The thinnest line you could possibly make is best.

k-palette-real-lasting-eye-brow-liquid-pen

5) K palette 24 hour eyebrow pen – long lasting subtle natural looking eyebrows without the need for any extra tools.  The pigmentation is very much like watercolor paint or a very faint stain. I prefer this over powders, waxes, and pencils because it gives a softer look and smudges nicely and lasts all day and all night.  I just use this to fill in any sparse spots and smudge it around a little.  If you do it right, no one should be able to tell you have filled in your brows.

nars laguna

7) Nars laguna bronzer – This bronzer works with almost all skin tones.  Just a little bit over the nose, chin, and cheeks gives your face just the right amount of definition and depth.  I find other bronzers to be too shiny or too brown.

sephora sponge

Tools:  Sephora Collection Precision Sponge (Beauty Blender)

Recipe: Filipino Adobo Chicken

When I heard that this recipe was considered by many to be the best chicken recipe in the world, I had to try it.  Plus I wanted a good excuse to try out my new ceramic cast iron skillet.

adobo chicken

You’ll need:  3 lb organic chicken cut into 8 pieces, 8 cloves garlic, 1.5 cups coconut milk, 1 cup soy sauce, 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1 cup water, 4 bay leaves, scallions.  Served with cooked white rice.

photo (6)

Combine soy sauce, water, vinegar, bay leaves, chopped garlic, and 3/4 cup of the coconut milk into the skillet.  Bring to boil.  Then add chicken and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes cover.  Flip the chicken over a couple times during this process.  You can either let the chicken marinade in this sauce over night, or like I did, roast just the chicken on very high heat 450 degrees in the oven for 15 minutes or so on a baking sheet.  Meanwhile, add the rest of the coconut milk to the sauce, and reduce the sauce until you have about 1 cup of liquid.  Serve with rice.  Drizzle sauce over the chicken and sprinkle a bunch of sliced scallions over top.  I still think Jamie Oliver’s milk chicken is a little better, but this is a close second.

Recipe: Fusilli & Veggies

ImageThis simple vegetarian pasta recipe by Mark Bittman was surprisingly delicious.  I’ll definitely be making this one again and again.

You’ll need:  4-5 cups cooked whole wheat fusilli pasta, corn kernels from 3 ears of corn, 2 cups of diced zucchini, 1 medium onion chopped, 4 cloves of garlic minced, 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh tarragon leaves, one handful of cherry tomatoes halved, 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, generous pinches of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, a really large frying pan or large dutch oven, and 30 minutes.

Cook the whole wheat pasta in really salty water, reserving some of the pasta water for the end.  Heat your pan, add 2 T of EVOO and cook the corn for 5 minutes til slightly brown.  Add the diced zucchini and push it down so it touches the bottom of the pan, cook for another 5 minutes.  Add 2-3 pinches of salt and pepper, onions and garlic.  Stir and cook for another 5 minutes.  Add the tarragon leaves and tomatoes, stir and cook for 5 more minutes.  Turn the heat off.  Add the pasta along with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, stir well.  The pasta should be glistening with olive oil, season again generously, each fusilli should be speckled with freshly ground pepper.  You can add a spoonful of pasta water if it all looks too dry at the end.  This is supremely yummy and healthy too. Enjoy!

Wardrobe: Dark Plaids

Image

I’ve noticed somewhat of a trend this winter, dark plaids in forest green, black, and navy.  I’ve gotten many compliments from random strangers about a pair of fitted trousers that I wear to work from Joe Fresh that look a lot like the above picture.  It was on sale for only $39, but I haven’t been able to find it on their online store.  Multiple people have asked me if I got these pants at Zara’s.  Zara is kind of on a dark plaid binge, which I think looks great with work pants, skirts, and dresses.  Sort of sophisticated but not as boring as your usual solids.  Here are a few that I liked from Zara and Madewell:

ImageImageImageImageImage

Recipe: Pankin Pumpcakes (Pumpkin Pancakes)

pumpkin pancakes

You know how sometimes you just crave pumpkin and you will not rest until you get it?  I found a way to use a can of pumpkin that I had left over from last year by using ingredients that I already had in the kitchen.  Here’s an easy recipe that turned out pretty good and can be adjusted by adding walnuts, pistachios, or roasted pumpkin seeds.

PhotoPhoto (2)

Photo (1)pumpkin pancakes

Whisk 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon each cinnamon, ground ginger, and salt, 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, and a pinch of ground cloves. In a separate bowl, stir together 1 cup milk, 6 tablespoons canned pumpkin puree, 2 tablespoons melted butter, and 1 egg then fold the mixture into dry ingredients. Melt some butter in a skillet over medium heat and pour in 1/4 cup or an ice cream scooper full of batter for each pancake. Cook pancakes about 3 minutes per side and serve with syrup.

Music: Fuck Buttons – Slow Focus // Live @ Le Poisson Rouge

Image

fuck buttonsFuck Buttons put on a stellar show this past week at Le Poisson Rouge.  It was a no frills, wall of sound, that sort of entranced you into fluidity.  Their new album Slow Focus is a nice progression from Tarot Sport.  It’s a bit less sterile, less perfect (in a good way).  They seemed to have gained a lot of confidence after Danny Boyle used their music in the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony.   They produced the new album all on their own, which at first I thought ‘no! it’s not going to be good!’, but I was so wrong.  Very impressed.  So far my fav this year.   Hope to see much more of them!

Home: Extending the life of your loofah with hydrogen peroxide

Image

Why didn’t I think of this before?  Recently I noticed that my natural fiber loofahs, bath sponges, and brushes were getting black and moldy from the moisture in the bathroom.  In the past I would just throw them out and replace them even though they were structurally okay… but what a waste of $$$!  I recently bought a hydrogen peroxide spray to safely disinfect my puppy’s accidents but realized I could use this product on so many other things!  I put a few spoons of this in a basin of hot water and let my loofa soak overnight.  The next day it was like brand new!  Plus you don’t have to worry about harmful chemicals because all it is is water with an extra oxygen ion that in commercially sold concentrations is not harmful and easily neutralized with water rinsing.

Wardrobe: Goodwinn Purse

goodwinn purse close up

Simple, elegant purse, made special by two toned leather when sides are unzipped.  In this version the leather is matte black and the sides are a deep navy.  The buckle also slides sideways to open up.  It’s an almost perfect everyday purse except that the handle is attached to the lid of the purse which makes it difficult to close when carrying on your shoulder.  But I think this is worth it for the streamline aesthetic. It’s just the right size to carry a few things including your iPad on a casual non-work day.

Goodwinn Purse