Blue & Silver Butterfly/Floral NOTD!

Supplies!

Supplies!

I wanted something bright, and I wanted to use a super cute new butterfly/floral stamping plate that came in the mail. This is what I came up with! Unfortunately, the finer details of the butterfly portion didn’t show up no matter what polish I used, but the results were still ok. I used Love & Beauty (Forever 21) in Marina, Sally Hansen Celeb City, and Sinful Colors Snow Me White along with the stamp plate and nail dotter for a bit of extra detail.

Shown after a day’s wear.

Blue & Silver Butterfly NOTD

Blue & Silver Butterfly NOTD

And the other paw.

Blue & Silver Butterfly NOTD

Blue & Silver Butterfly NOTD

Have a great weekend!

Teal & Gold NOTD

Teal1

Finding myself with a bit of much needed quiet time, I decided to do a NOTD! I’ve missed them. Today’s nails have a tealy aqua-blue base with some gold dots. I used Reitman’s Aqua Mineral for the base and Avon Gel Finish 7 in 1 nail enamel for the dots. And of course my favourite NYC fast drying top coat.

Teal4

Teal3

Teal2

I liked the results, super simple, easy and cute.

Hope you’re all doing well!

Manuka Honey Peel-Off Face Mask by Montagne Jeunesse

Manuka Honey Peel Off Mask

Manuka Honey Peel Off Mask

I’m a bit particular about facial masks. My oily skin doesn’t need a moisturizing mask, plus I don’t see the point of slapping it on only to rinse it off a few minutes later. Mud masks perplex me as well. Despite occasionally (and very temporarily) improving my skin texture, I don’t see how it is possible for them to “draw out impurities” (whatever those are. Is it a mud attracting dirt theory?) But peel off masks I really like. They take along with them a layer of dead skin, leaving you looking fresher with less annoying dry winter skin flakies!

Tiffany from ObsessedCanada offered to send me a selection of Montagne Jeunesse face masks, and I was excited to pick out some peel off masks. As I only have one face, I will be featuring them one at a time in separate reviews. Today’s review is for the Manuka Honey one!

Back of Manuka Honey Mask Package

Back of Manuka Honey Mask Package

This mask really smells like honey. A very floral honey (jasmine). It is intense, but lovely, as I really like honey! This scent does linger after the mask is removed as well. The texture and colour is also very honey like, thankfully without as much stickiness. It smooths on evenly without any trouble, and dries to a thin, solid, easy to peel off finish.

Ingredients of Manuka Honey Mask

Ingredients of Manuka Honey Mask

I really enjoyed the smooth feel of my skin after this mask, and would absolutely use it again! I got 2 uses out of the package ($1.99) just by keeping the remainder left inside the package, folded over then in a zip bag. If you are into peel off masks and honey, give this a try! Montagne Jeunesse products are cruelty free and made in the UK. This package contained 10mls of mask.

Thanks again to ObsessedCanada. Looking forward to trying the rest of the masks!

ELF Products Only! Pale Smoky Purple Eye Look Using Only ELF Cosmetics & Tools!

ELF Cosmetics & Tools

ELF Cosmetics & Tools

I was planning on doing a simple swatch and review of this purple ELF cosmetics eyeshadow set, labeled only as “Smoky”. It then occured to me that I had enough ELF products that I would be able to do a complete eye look using ELF only products, tools and brushed included! I didn’t use everything shown above but thought I should include them in the picture just in case I did. Included in the picture above: a six pan eyeshadow set called Smoky, a liquid liner in Plum, a black mascara, an eyelash curler, two pencil liners, one in Black and one in Plum, two eyeshadow brushes, a small concealer brush I usually use for liner, a pencil sharpener that was included with the eyeliner and an eyeliner brush, all ELF products.

Swatched below are the eye liners, the pencil ones first in Plum then Black. The black didn’t stick to my waterline as I had hoped, the formula just isn’t gel like enough for that, but they still apply well to skin, and I ended up using the Plum pencil under my eye in the finished look. The Liquid liner is on the bottom, also named Plum. I quite like the liquid liner, I did a full review on the one in black, and I love it (had to buy backups, and I’m glad I did as it’s gone now!)

ELF Eye Liners in Plum and Black

ELF Eye Liners in Plum and Black

And below I have swatched the six pan palette in Smoky. Pigmentation was ok in most of them, nothing outstanding but definitely good enough to be workable for a casual look. The purple and black ones were drier than the rest, with the purple being the only really matte one in the pan. It applied better than the black. All contained sparkle in one way or another. From top to bottom we have a very frosty sheer white, a pinky lavender, the matte purple (which had sparkle in its overspray but not underneath that), a silvery, slightly lilac taupe, and impressively pigmented shimmery charcoal grey, and a not particularly well pigmented matte black with loose sparkles in the matte base. I didn’t end up using the grey or black in this lighter smoky look today.

ELF Smoky Eye Shadow 6 Pan Palette Swatches

ELF Smoky Eye Shadow 6 Pan Palette Swatches

The eyeshadows did blend just fine, and seemed to lose the heavy glitter as i blended along, which is fine with me. I did a look using the matte purple on lid, pinky lavender in crease, the taupe on inner half of lid, and the tiniest bit of the frost white in my inner corner. Although it looks black in the picture, I did use the liquid liner in Plum on my upper lid, and the pencil liner in Plum on the lower.

ELF Smoky Eye Shadow on eye

ELF Smoky Eye Shadow on eye

You can’t see the mascara very well at this angle, but I am satisfied with it’s performance. It built reasonably well in 2 coats and dried to a very soft and flexible finish. Due to this flexibility however, it didn’t hold a curl well. If you were in desperate need of mascara and only had a buck, this would do the job in a pinch. It did start to flake on me, but this might be my fault as I was continuously poking at it, being impressed with it’s flexibility.

Overall, if you don’t have particularly high performance demands, pigment wise, out of your makeup, or if you don’t like using your expensive stuff when you are only going to be out a couple hours for errands or something, I would recommend these ELF products (the eyeliner especially, which is a daily use product for me!)

Have any favourite ELF products?

Studded Black Leather NOTD Nail Dotter Experiments!

L'Oreal She's So Matte, Sally Hansen Celeb City

L’Oreal She’s So Matte, Sally Hansen Celeb City

Something different for today’s NOTD! I used L’Oreal She’s So Matte and Sally Hansen Celeb City for this look. L’Oreal She’s So Matte is a flat black polish that is pretty opaque in one coat but I used two for this NOTD. I really like the effect, but unfortunately it chips very quickly (like most matte polishes) which might have something to do with not being able to use a topcoat, so I don’t use it very often. I’m not able to find this on their website anymore, so it was probably a limited edition. Sally Hansen Celeb City is a shimmery sparkly silver that has been around for years and is still in production.

First two coats of L’Oreal She’s So Matte, which dried very quickly as mattes generally do. I then used the smaller side of my new nail dotter to add metallic “studs” all around the edges with Sally Hansen Celeb City. With the matte black, it sort of had a look of studded black leather!

L'Oreal She's So Matte Base, Sally Hansen Celeb City Dots

L’Oreal She’s So Matte Base, Sally Hansen Celeb City Dots

L'Oreal She's So Matte Base, Sally Hansen Celeb City Dots

L’Oreal She’s So Matte Base, Sally Hansen Celeb City Dots

I enjoyed the interesting leathery look for a while, and decided I wanted to see what it looked like shiny before it started to chip. I added a quick coat of NYC Grand Central Station clear coat (which is fantastic by the way). Now I can’t decide if I like it better shiny or matte!

L'Oreal She's So Matte Base, Sally Hansen Celeb City Dots, NYC Topcoat

L’Oreal She’s So Matte Base, Sally Hansen Celeb City Dots, NYC Topcoat

And because why not, I did the inverse on the other hand. It was harder to paint and photograph with the “wrong” hand but I thought it was still interesting enough to share!

L'Oreal She's So Matte Dots, Sally Hansen Celeb City Base

L’Oreal She’s So Matte Dots, Sally Hansen Celeb City Base

 

This was a fun and easy nail project. 🙂 Like any the best?

Have a good week!

Happy Canada Day! A Canadian recipe, themed nails, and more!

Canflag

Happy Canada Day!

 

Today’s post is a long one, so I am splitting it up into subheadings! I wish you the best of Canada Days!

 

Canadian NOTD!

I really wanted to do some Canada Day themed nails! I tried using my dotter to make a leaf pattern, with some success. I couldn’t seem to be able to get it small enough to look right on a nail however. I moved on to trying to paint a maple leaf with the tiny brush I have. I did end painting something that resembled a leaf alright, perhaps a more popular one than maple. Deciding that this wasn’t the look I was going for, I scrapped the maple leaf plan and went with a red and white dot theme! The first shot is a bit dark, the next with two rows of dots I remembered to turn the flash on for. I’m not too proficient with the dotter yet but I’m getting there. Not bad for the late hour I did these at!

One Row Dots

One Row Dots

Two Rows Dots

Two Rows Dots

Pretty cute I think! Love this dotting tool, only had it a week or so and already a lot of use out of it!

 

Cute Canadian Hoodies Eh?

Cute Canadian Hoodies Eh?

 

 

Time for a snack!

I’d like to share one of my all time favourite Canadian recipes! It is for Nanaimo Bars, a three layer no bake square/bar type dessert. No bake = perfect for summer treat! I will include substitutions and variations below. They look like this!

Nanaimo Bars

Nanaimo Bars

 

Nanaimo Bars:

 

For the Base:

3/4 cup butter or margarine

1/4 cup sugar

6 tbsp cocoa

1 egg, beaten

1 tbsp milk

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups graham cracker crumbs (note about substitutions to follow)

1 cup shredded coconut (I’ve used sweetened and unsweetened, it doesn’t really matter, use what you like best)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

 

For the filling:

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

6 tbsp milk

4 tbsp custard powder (note about substitutions to follow)

4 cups icing sugar (also known as powdered sugar or confectioner’s sugar)

 

For the topping:

8 ounces semi sweet or dark chocolate (I use the handy pre-measured Baker’s chocolate squares)

1 tbsp butter or margarine

 

Directions:

1) For the base, combine first 6 ingredients in a saucepan. Heat and stir over medium heat until mixture is smooth. Remove from heat. Depending on your personal level of fusspottery, you may also do this step in the microwave or over a double boiler as preferred.

2) Stir in the graham cracker crumbs, coconut and walnuts. Pack the mixture firmly into a 9×13” pan (for thinner bars) or an 8×8” pan (for fat, rich, thick bars, my preference) when it is cool enough to handle. Place the base in the fridge to chill while you prepare the filling.

3) Beat all 4 filling ingredients with a mixer until smooth. Spread filling over chilled base, and refrigerate til completely set, about an hour, maybe less.

4) For the topping, melt chocolate and butter in a bowl in the microwave at 50% (or less depending on your microwave’s power) stirring every 30 seconds or so as it melts. When it is fully melted and smooth, spread this over top the chilled filling and base. Place in fridge to chill for another hour or so. You can remove at this point to score the top chocolate layer for easier cutting later, or let it chill the entire way and cut later. If you want to chill it fully cut it later, I’d recommend letting it sit at room temperature a while first so it chocolate doesn’t break up when slicing.

 

Substitutions:

Graham Cracker Crumbs: If you don’t have these available in your area, I have heard people have had success with crushed vanilla wafers (the plain flat dry cookie type, not the wafers with filling), crushed animal crackers, zweiback baby cookies,  oreo cookie crumbs, crushed biscotti (fancy), and my Australian friends use crushed digestive biscuits, which seem to be the closest substitution. For a gluten free option, use crushed gluten free cookies (something plain) or gluten free cereal like Chex or Rice Krispies, or whatever else you have locally that you think will crush up into decent, cookie like crumbs. Just make sure your chocolate and filling ingredients are also gluten free!

For the custard powder which I believe might be a Canadian/UK thing, you can  substitute with an equal amount of instant vanilla pudding powder, but I assure you it will not be the same! For those who would be upset at the remainder of unused vanilla pudding powder (and I know some people who would be), just mix it up with a bit of milk, eat it and stop panicking. Or, an even better option, save it for your next batch of Nanaimo Bars, or dump it in your next batch of chocolate chip cookies. Trust me.

Some variation ideas (no real recipes here as they are just ideas, but I’m sure google can help you out if you need it):

-Mint Chocolate Nanaimo Bars: Make as directed, only add a a bit of mint favouring and green food colouring to the filling part. This would work well with the vanilla pudding substitute as well. This is how my Auntie makes them for xmas every year.

-Peanut Butter Chocolate Nanaimo Bars: Make as directed, adding a couple tbsp peanut butter in the filling mixture and substitute the walnuts for chopped peanuts in the base.

-Butter Pecan Nanaimo Bars: In place of the custard powder, use equal amount butterscotch pudding powder or some caramel flavouring syrup. Replace the walnuts in the base with chopped pecans in the base.

-Cherry Almond Nanaimo Bars: Replace the custard powder with cherry and almond extract, or cherry juice, maybe some finely chopped maraschino cherries, replace the walnuts with chopped almonds in the base.

-Mocha Nanaimo Bars: Add a bit of super strong coffee or some instant coffee to the filling (maybe mixing it in a tiny, tiny bit of water to dissolve first) and prepare as directed.

-Boozey Nanaimo Bars: Add some Grand Marnier to the filling, perhaps a small amount of grated orange rind to the base. Or maybe some Bailey’s, Amaretto, Kahlua, etc in the filling, the remainder prepared as directed.

The recipe, as you can see, is very forgiving and flexible, you’re sure to find a version you’ll like!

 

Celebration suggestions!

Where I live, Canada Day is usually celebrated with booze, backyard bbq’s, fireworks and red and white patriotic decorations, much like July 4th from what I can tell. I came across some unexpected suggestions while shopping recently, however. I was minding my own business at the store, when I looked up to find this:

canadapanty

Celebration Suggestion

I’m all for celebrating in your undies, it was just an unexpected display. Thinking it was a one off thing, maybe just a store employee with a sense of humor, I pretty much forgot about it. Until I opened my email, and found this (a La Senza ad mail):

More celebration suggestions!

More celebration suggestions!

I guess I’ve got the memo! Happy Canada Day, party in your panties!

Essie Sunday Funday NOTD Swatch & Review, Dotting Experiment!

Essie Sunday Funday

Essie Sunday Funday

Today’s nails of the day is Essie Sunday Funday! It’s a bright, pretty, orange leaning coral with a light amount of white shimmery flecks throughout. Perfect for a glisteny, juicy, summery look! It’s gorgeous, I have no idea how it stayed on the shelves long enough to make it to the discounter I found it at. It applied beautifully and drying time seemed pretty good! I wanted to try out my new dotting tool on top of this shade, and here is 2 coats swatched, no topcoat!

Essie Sunday Funday

Essie Sunday Funday

For the dotting, I used NYC Park Ave, Nicole by OPI It’s All About the Glam, NYC Water Street Blue (stunning on it’s own as well, but stains) and of course that’s Sunday Funday on the far right.

NYC Park Ave, Nicole It's All About the Glam, NYC Water Street Blue, Essie Sunday Funday

NYC Park Ave, Nicole It’s All About the Glam, NYC Water Street Blue, Essie Sunday Funday

Final result close up on thumb. I also did my ring finger, I think more might have been overkill. I think I might need a more opaque white, or a bigger dotter as I had some issues making the white dot even but overall I do like the look! I’m really enjoying this little tool 🙂

More Dots!

More Dots!

Have a great weekend!

Quo by Orly Instant Artist Nail Dotter Duo Test Run!

Quo by Orly Instant Artist Duo

Quo by Orly Instant Artist Duo

Hi! My Mom picked up this dotting tool duo for me recently and I thought I’d give it a try today! Quo is a brand available in Canada at Shoppers Drug Mart. This duo includes a dual ended dotter, with a small and medium size dotting tool, and a very tiny detailing brush. Now for me, anything beyond just slapping on nail polish the regular way would be considered as “advanced” so I was hoping I’d have enough skill to use these. Lucky for me it was as easy as I was hoping!

Quo by Orly Instant Artist Duo

Quo by Orly Instant Artist Duo

The packing comes with a short product write up on the back of the card giving you ideas as to what to use them for.

Quo by Orly Instant Artist Duo

Quo by Orly Instant Artist Duo

I thought for my first time out I’d just try a simple flower design to test my skill. I used the medium sized dotter end for the flower petals, just dipped in a tiny bit of nail polish then dotted it on, as you would expect. Seemed to work well! I wiped off the dotter in a cotton pad with acetone on it in between colours.

Sample Flower

Sample Flower

Encouraged by how easy the flower was, I decided to use the smaller dot end to add a stem. For a leaf, I used the medium sized dotter end, then quickly dragged the tiny brush through it.

Orly_Dotter_Flower_Stem

Cute! And right in line with my (super low) skill level! Looking forward to trying out more designs soon! Maybe something more abstract next! If you’re more skilled with these than I am and have ideas or links, please share!