Thursday, September 20, 2012

Tastiest Pinterest Recipes I've Tried!

Hey everyone! 
Who loves Pinterest? I do! 
And Lord knows I have pinned tons of delicious recipes on there that I want to try!
But I thought it might be fun to devote a blog post to the recipes I actually HAVE tried and would totally recommend to you! 
The links under each picture will take you back to the original blog where the recipe was posted.
And please find me on Pinterest! I have boards about beauty, home stuff, clothes, hair, cute animals, funny stuff, and more! :)

This Crock Pot Spaghetti is one of the most recent things I've tried. I love a good crock pot recipe! It couldn't be easier to make, and doesn't take a lot of ingredients... made lots of leftovers and Tyler and I both loved it! I like this better than traditional spaghetti & meat sauce, just sayin'!
You gotta love a good, hearty vegetable beef soup! This one is great, and you can totally customize it and throw in whatever veggies you love! I also added some tomato paste to thicken the broth a bit and make it more of a "stew"... I also used whole wheat pasta to make it a little healthier. Even after you refrigerate the leftovers, the flavors continue to mix and it becomes even better! 

OMG. This chicken enchilada soup is a flavor party in your mouth!! Mexican food lovers- please try this.  I love how the base of the soup is slightly creamy, and you can really spice it up to your desired level. Super easy to make in the crock pot, and is so great garnished with a little extra cheese and some Frito's corn chips! 

 How cute are these mummy dogs?! Such a fun thing to make for a Halloween party. I don't care how old you are, the "pig in a blanket" concept of a hot dog & a crescent roll is always delicious. Wrapping the hot dog with the crescent roll strips can be a bit tricky, but it doesn't have to be perfect! Serve with some ketchup & mustard and enjoy!

I threw these cream cheese jalapeno crescent roll poppers together for a potluck-style party a couple of months ago. Do you like jalapeno poppers? You will LOVE these. Even if you aren't into spicy stuff, I found these to be rather mild, but with just the right amount of kick. They're bite size and are super yummy right out of the oven, but even after they cool, they're great. Try them out for your next gathering!

Had to throw in this recipe that I pinned! Tyler and I continue to make these flatbread pizzas! Top them however you want and enjoy! While the crust is thin, it can cure a pizza craving with a lot less calories! Click the link for my how-to video!

I love a good pasta salad, and this Avocado & Lime pasta salad is one of my favorites. In general- whether you're whipping up an egg salad, chicken salad, or this... avocado can make a nice mayo substitute. This particular recipe calls for a little mayo, but not as much as you might add to a typical creamy pasta salad. The lime & cilantro gives great flavor, and I also added frozen corn to it. It's my new go-to pasta salad!

More fun with avocados! :) This creamy avocado dip flat out ROCKS. I love that greek yogurt is involved, because that adds a little protein content, and is healthier than, say, sour cream. Use it as a dip for chips, a taco topping, or a spread for sandwiches! This is another one Tyler went gaga for!

 So... I like corn. So I was immediately attracted to the Creamy Cool Corn dip when I saw it on Pinterest. It did not disappoint! I love the subtle sweetness of the corn and you know what else I added? Some bacon bits! You could use real ones, but I just used the crunchy imitation ones... they soften a bit and give a nice flavor! 

Now's the time to start making these 2-ingredient pumpkin muffins! I mentioned these in my recent TJ Maxx haul... they are absolutely delightful! So moist & flavorful. I like using a spice cake mix, but recently picked up a butter pecan mix to try! For more of a muffin-vibe, you don't need to frost them. But for a decadent cupcake- a little cream cheese frosting is great! And you know what's funny? Instead of even pretending like I've slaved over these, I proudly tell people I only used 2 ingredients and they are baffled and impressed! 

 Last but not least, I gotta give some love to my mom's homemade apple pie. My mom (Jackie) shot a video with me on how to make it! It's absolutely the best apple pie-- and the most fantastic crust you will eat. I pinned it on Pinterest, but of course it's also on Beauty Vlogcast. Since posting this video, many people have tried the recipe and shared their pie pics with me- they all looked awesome!!

Daily Nuggets...
  • Posted a new video just a bit ago! Shopping List Ideas! 
  • Tomorrow is Friday and I am PUMPED as usual.
  • I talk to my mom everyday on the phone & had an especially good chat with her today.
  • Cupcake is sitting by my feet right now- a purring machine!
  • Shower time for me! Have a good night!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Too Faced: The Return of Sexy Palette

Hello my friends!
I must say, I've been a bit palette crazy lately. Every time I do my eyes, I just want to reach for a palette of some sort! I'm sure before long I'll go back into a phase with my single shadows and smaller quads & trios, but for now, I'm loving the ability to grab a palette and have an array of looks at my fingertips. That's where the Too Faced "The Return of Sexy" Palette comes in. If you keep up with my videos, you saw me use it for my Goin' Gold Makeup Tutorial for Childhood Cancer Awareness.

Since that video was simply a tutorial, showing about a third of this palette in action (the golden brown tones), I wanted to do a blog showing you more about it- since many people had questions! The palette costs $48 at, and includes quite a few extras. Considering that you get 15 rather large shadows, a full sized eyeliner, a small Shadow Insurance primer (my favorite kind- but forgot to snap a pic of it!), cards with suggested ways to wear the shades, and a large mirror... I think it's a great value for the price.  

The size of the palette is nice- it's sturdy, without seeming over-sized. If you look closely, you can see the little slot behind the mirror where there are cards with different suggested looks... 

The cards not only point out "paint by number" style ways to apply the shades, but when you turn the cards over, you actually see a REAL eye. Which is nice, considering most brands only ever show you a face chart-type of diagram. 

Too Faced has a new line of eyeliners called Perfect Eyes, and a basic black comes with this palette. The liner is incredibly rich and long-wearing (even lasts most of the day in the waterline for me!) One downside for me is that this is the kind of liner you have to sharpen... you know I love my automatic liners! But on the upside, it does have a great smudge tip which comes in super handy! 

 I really like how the palette is constructed. It's clearly separated into three 5-color sections- The Ingenue, The Icon, and The Bombshell. The different shades are outlined on the back of the palette, as shown in this picture. Of course you can mix and match however you please, but it's definitely nice to know that you can get a total look just using one of the three sections. You get a full range of light to dark in each of the three sections... highlights, mid-tones, and dark liner-type colors. I hate when palettes skimp on one aspect or another- not giving you enough highlights or dark shades. This palette has a really well thought-out balance.

However, there is something missing from this palette... there are ZERO matte colors. Some shades are shimmery, some are glittery, some are metallic... but none are entirely matte. So if you're a matte girl, or like your palettes to include some matte options, this might not be for you. I also like having some matte color options, but I also love my shimmer. And as shiny as these shades may seem in the palette, I still think they come together to create some beautiful looks. I have a couple of palettes and numerous singles in my collection that are 100% matte, so if I want to supplement this palette with any of those, I know I can. But if the thought of a 100% shimmer palette concerns you- you've been warned.

The Ingenue
The brown collection contains a shimmery cream, an old gold, a warm brown, a champagne gold, and a deep brown. I created a somewhat soft look with these colors in my Goin' Gold tutorial- and as you can see, though all the shades contain at least some amount of shimmer- I don't feel like it's sparkle overload. It's just a glowy golden eye. One issue- it seems each set of 5 in this palette has an odd ball color with a ton of sparkle, and it's going to be fallout prone. In the case of this grouping- it's the light champagne gold called "New in Town". To get the most out of a shadow like that, I suggest applying it immediately after your primer- or use another colored base (paint pot, shadow stick, etc.) so the shadow can "stick" to the lid. Overall, I like this grouping of neutrals, and to make it more dramatic, throw the darker brown in your crease/outer V. 

The Icon
Surprisingly, I think the purple part of this kit is the one I've ended up wearing the most! If this pic looks familiar, you're not imagining things. It was in a recent blog, as well as Instagram and Twitter. I absolutely love the color called "Icon" in this section- it's a shimmery pinky-lilac & I'm wearing it on my lid in that pic. Consequently, it's the one with the highest fallout factor in the purple set. I still love it, and I also love the plum and brighter purple colors. Can you see how the plum even has pink sparkle?! This is why I love Too Faced- classic colors with a unique twist!

The Bombshell
Ahh! I forgot to snap a pic of myself wearing this part of the kit, but in the coming days I definitely will & I'll post it on Twitter and Instagram (I'm emilynoel83 on both!) The shade with the fallout in this part of the kit is the white highlight color. It just goes on super sheer and is kind of flakey. However I don't mind using either of the other highlights with this side of the kit. All of the other shades are solid and I LOVE that rose gold metallic color! :) And while the black has sparkle- it's not so obnoxious that the shade doesn't look good in your crease or as a liner. I'll also sometimes pull in that black with the brown or purple looks. 

Do you like bling and shimmer and shine? I think you'll really enjoy the palette and all the extras that come with it. Are you annoyed by sparkle and require some matte shades in any palette you buy? This is not for you. I'm one who enjoys matte, but I also love shimmer. While there are a few shades in this kit that have too much fallout, I can't necessarily call them duds, because when applied in a slightly different way (carefully, packed directly on top of a primer or other base), they work well and look gorgeous! Without pulling in any other matte colors, I feel like I can still turn out great looks with this palette, and they don't look muddy, overdone, or any other criticism you want to give to shimmer eyeshadows. You can create a range of natural daytime looks, but easily transition them to something more dramatic. I also love the shade range, and just the way the palette as a whole is assembled. Thanks for taking the time to check out this post! :) 

Daily Nuggets...
  • Tyler and I are loving Vitamin Water Zero in almost any flavor. Currently drinking Squeezed, the lemonade flavor.
  • My mom has had a cold lately- wish we lived closer so I could send her up some of my recently crock-potted meals and soups. And of course some Vitamin Water Zero.
  • If you like random hauls that could contain anything from scarves to cupcake papers- check out my TJ Maxx haul :)
  • It's been a dreary day outside, and I kind of like those every now and then. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Wait, There's More! (Revlon Lip Favorites)

Hey everyone! Perhaps you've seen one of my most recent videos where I professed my love for certain Revlon lip products. I really narrowed it down to just one or two TOP favorites from Revlon's various lines of lip products. I do have many more that I enjoy! So I thought I'd expand and show those to you in this blog post. I was having issues with lighting & camera focusing, so forgive me if some of the pics aren't crystal clear. And here's the video, in case you missed it! It'll describe the differences in all these categories of Revlon lip products. 

Left to Right: 
  • Super Lustrous Lipstick in Champagne on Ice (Pearl) ... Golden nude & shimmery, somewhat sheer
  • Super Lustrous Lipstick in Pink in the Afternoon (Creme)... Basic creamy pink
  • Super Lustrous Lipstick in Gentlemen Prefer Pink (Pearl)... Cooler, brighter pink w/ subtle shimmer
  • Matte Lipstick in Stormy Pink... I don't typically love matte lips, but I adore this bright pink
  • Colorburst Lipstick in Rosy Nude... very wearable deep neutral 

Just BItten Kissable Balm Stain!
Left to Right:
  • Honey... soft neutral with pink tones- very natural & wearable
  • Sweetheart... creamy bright Barbie pink
  • Lovesick... bright fuschia/berry pink
  • Romantic... tomato red- hint of orange

Lip Butters!
Left to Right... 
  • SweetTart... Creamy, medium-toned pink
  • Berry Smoothie... Wearable light berry with shimmer
  • Raspberry Pie... Bold berry pink
  • Cherry Tart... Sheer Red (I like wearing this with the deeper red lip butter called Red Velvet)

Left to Right...
  • Super Lustrous Gloss in Peach Petal... creamy, rather opaque peach
  • Super Lustrous Gloss in Coral Reef... creamy coral/orange gloss
  • Super Lustrous Gloss in Pink Pursuit... shimmery, dusty rose
  • Colorburst Gloss in Bellini... creamy peach with more of a golden undertone

There you go! Hope this was helpful for those trying to get a better sense of what these different Revlon lip products look like. It can be hard to know about their color and finish in the packaging when you're just browsing through the store. Thanks to those who have given me even MORE suggestions of great Revlon lip products to try! :) The glosses pictured are colors that I really enjoy, but I just didn't want to overwhelm everyone in the video with a zillion color options! :) Have a great day! 

Daily Nuggets...

Monday, September 10, 2012

Target Haul! EOS & ELF

Hey everyone! Went to Target for some extra cold medicine yesterday... and of course I couldn't steer clear of the makeup aisle! I had a few special finds I wanted to pass along...

There's a new trio of EOS lip balms- in an Alice in Wonderland Disney collection. As soon as I saw this on Pinterest a few days ago, I knew I'd be on the lookout! I think the set was around $7. The flavors are new- vanilla, watermelon, and blueberry.

I've only used the blueberry so far, and it smells very fresh & realistic! I've always been a fan of these lip balms for their non-greasy, yet hydrating feel. They make nice lip primers to smooth out the lips before liner or lipstick. I don't know if you can tell, but when you twist on the cap, a Mickey Mouse head appears on the side (in honor of the special Disney edition). Just wanted to give you a heads up on that, in case you're an EOS lip balm fan like me! (FYI cat owners- if one of these turns up missing, your cat has probably adopted it as a new toy).

ELF had a new special display with some nail polishes, brushes, tools, and some little eyeshadow kits. The packaging is a little different, and everything seems to have that fall, animal print type vibe. I picked up a new lash curler that has a reptile-ish design on it. I love the ELF $1 lash curler, and this is basically the same thing, only it's $2 (I guess for the fancy look).

Above- the box & the palette.

I also got the Little Black Beauty Book... I believe this was $6. While I haven't used this on my eyes yet, I'm already kind of regretting this purchase. Some preliminary swatching shows that these shades are not super pigmented. There might be a few hits here and there, but definitely some misses too. Here's a random sampling of some swatches...

It seemed like a cute idea at the time, but I think this impulse buy got the best of me. Be prepared for a lot of pretty sheer colors that don't quite measure up to ELF's larger palettes (like the Endless Eyes Pro or 32-color mini palettes.) The packaging is definitely cute and compact, and it also comes with a mirror. I'll need to use it first to really give a fair review, but this is just my initial reaction! :) 

Have you seen any new fall collections that you're excited about? Do tell!

Daily Nuggets...
  • Last night I made something called Buffalo Chicken Garbage Bread- found it on Pinterest (where else). It was spicy, but so good!
  • Our morning newscast (News 3 This Morning) is expanding- starting at 5:00 am instead of 5:30, and running 'til 7:00. Today's wakeup time was 1:00 am. Goodness I hope I can keep this up! 
  • Today Mom gave me the heads up that the ladies on The Talk on CBS were going makeup free. Watched the show & it was refreshing to see people on national TV being comfortable without makeup. The whole studio audience was also without makeup. There's probably a bit of an added "comfort level" with this makeup-free day when you're surrounded by all makeup-less people. Go out into the everyday world and it might not feel the same. How do my fellow makeup-lovers feel? I'm comfortable baring my face in front of thousands for my tutorials, but I genuinely enjoy applying makeup and the creative process behind it. But I guess they weren't really trying to get people to give up makeup (I'm sure the hosts will be wearing it again tomorrow!)... but rather, not feel like they absolutely need it. 
  • I tweeted about this... but Green Mountain Pumpkin Spice coffee is back at Target! :)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Feel Sick? Look Better!

Hey everyone! 
I've always been of the mindset that makeup can make you look and FEEL better. 
I truly feel that there is a happiness/confidence boost when you enhance your features.
Call me crazy, but as much as I'd like to stay under the blankets when I have a cold--
I know darn well that my attitude will perk up a bit once I get my makeup on. 
Even though I might still have a cough or some sniffles- I get more of an "I can do this" mentality for the day when I get myself put together. 
(Granted, there are also those times when you're seriously ill and should stay in bed!)

So here are some key elements of my routine-- which can be great for ANY day--
but they really shouldn't be overlooked on a day when you're sick and still have to get up, go to work, etc. A few are some new things I'm loving right now!

1. Wake up the Eyes
Bare Minerals Stroke of Light Eye Brightener
I have this in the lightest shade- Luminous 1. I've had this for less than 2 weeks- but I'm already loving it. When I'm sick- my eyes REALLY need brightening. This shade has the slightest pink undertone that counteracts the darkness. When my eyes really need a boost- I use a dab of this on top of my Dalton Conceal It concealer. The Dalton provides the best coverage- but the brightening quality of this is awesome on top. 

2. Boost your complexion
MAC Blush in Fleur Power
I really don't think you need this exact blush shade- but this was what I wore today & it really gave life to my face. If you're sick-- do NOT skip blush. (Honestly, don't ever skip blush :) It's an instant look of health! So take a moment to buff a bright pinky/peach onto the cheeks. 

3. Pop the eyes
Too Faced "The Return of Sexy" Palette
This is a new palette I've been playing with lately. But more than recommending this specific palette... I recommend doing SOMETHING to your eyes. In my case- I chose a color family that I know enhances my eye color, like the purple section of this kit. When I'm going in front of HD cameras on a day that I'm feeling sick- I'll take advantage of all the little tricks I can! 
The whole "Return of Sexy" thing might have given me a little extra swagger too ;)

4. Add at least a little color to the lips
Revlon Colorburst Lip Gloss in Rosepearl
I've often said that a great lip color can make the whole face seem brighter. If we're sick, we can definitely use the extra help. I LOVE this Colorburst gloss in Rosepearl from Revlon. It's rosy, but not too bright. The picture might not reflect this, but it actually reminds me a bit of my beloved (and discontinued) Jordana gloss in "Lovely".  If your complexion is already a little dull, a nude lip won't do it any favors. So add a little color of some sort! 

5. The WOW Factor
Kiss 03 False Eyelashes (disregard Red Cherry packaging- I lost the original container)
Sometimes we get sick at really inopportune times. What if it's a day when you really need to "appear" to be at your best? If you're giving a presentation, going on an interview, getting your picture taken, hosting an important event, or whatever it may be-- sometimes you need to reach for the "wow factor". 
Sick or not-- false eyelashes are ALWAYS the wow factor, my friends! :) 
They're give the eyes an instant wide-awake lift. 

 This was an Instagram pic I posted today (I'm emilynoel83 on Instagram)...
And my look includes all of the products mentioned above. 
My overall message is this- we all have days when we're not feeling so hot & might skimp on makeup.
Consequently, those are the days our faces actually need a little MORE help. 
So don't be afraid to reach for some color on eyes, lips, and cheeks. 
You might find that you're looking & even feeling a little better by the time you're done! 

I also did a blog on this topic in '09, if you're interested.

Daily Nuggets...
  • Tomorrow is Friday!
  • Darn it, I forgot to pick up toilet paper after work.
  • I've pinned a bunch of recipes on Pinterest, but will need to get groceries before I can make them. 
  • I have a mysterious bruise on my leg. 
  • Wow... I've just been typing whatever pops into my head. This could get dangerous! Better stop now. Bye! 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

German Drugstore Haul!

Hey everyone! Happy to be back home safe & sound after a great trip to Germany! 
Tyler and I went for his brother's wedding and it was so fun. I have lots of video clips and pictures that I'll work into an upcoming Beauty Vlogcast video, but for now I wanted to show you the drugstore makeup I came up with! I've come down with a post-travel cold and my voice isn't so good... so blogging is a bit easier for me right now. 

We were staying in Idstein (a medium-sized town outside Frankfurt), and Sylvia (my sister-in-law) suggested we go to this drugstore called Rossmann. If I had more time (and space in my suitcase)- I would've shopped more! :) This store had around 5 brands in the cosmetics section, including some German brands I'd never heard of, as well as  L'oreal and Maybelline... however the displays weren't near as large as they are in the U.S. Another random observation- certain products- like eyeshadows- seemed a lot smaller than they are in the U.S.  I wanted to just get a little grab bag of random things...

I picked up this CD moisturizer (not sure if there's more to that brand name)- in a small size... Sylvia recommended it. The moisturizer I had packed was teeny tiny, so I figured I could use some more. This cream was great for nourishing my skin without getting greasy under my makeup. Tyler used some & liked it too. Gotta keep the skin hydrated after those long flights!

 I found a mousse foundation from a brand called Rival de Loop that I picked up. It's somewhere between the size of Maybelline Dream Mousse foundation and the Dream Mousse Concealer. The texture is similar to those, only a bit more fluffy and it blends out with a more powdery-feel. The shade I have is 02 Beige. I used a little of this when I did Sylvia's makeup for her wedding day :)

This eyeshadow is from a brand called Manhattan. I'd been wanting to do a peach & lavender eye look, so that's why I picked this one out of a special display. The shades are all rather sheer in these swatches, but pretty. And the purple is slightly iridescent. I'm excited to try these out on my eyes. I'm not totally sure what the shade name on this is... the back of the packaging says "Eyemazing Eyeshadow 3". 

Then I found this Perfect Stay stain/balm from a brand called Astor. I know Revlon makes something similar- with the marker-like lip stain on one end, and a clear balm on the other. This berry shade is called "Bols de Rose". I haven't used this yet, but Sylvia and I both thought it was worth a shot. 

With the brands like L'oreal that we're familiar with in the U.S., they have some of the same products- but they're often packaged differently. This Caress lipstick in 401 Rebel Red is an example of that... these lipsticks have different packaging in the U.S. and they're cut at an angle- unlike this one which is flat across the top- more like a balm. Another example of that- the Maybelline mascaras all had pointy caps in Germany, unlike ours in the U.S. Yes, I'm makeup obsessed, so these little things fascinate me.  As for this lipstick, it's a sheer, moisturizing red that became my go-to lip product for a couple days of the trip. Love it!

So there's my little haul! I'd never heard of several of these brands- so for those from Germany who're in the know-- I'd be curious to hear your thoughts on what I picked up! I'll have much more to come on this trip in a future vlog. Thanks for reading!

Daily Nuggets...
  • I am laying on the couch, exhausted, with cold-like symptoms. 
  • I had already planned to have the day off today for a little recovery from the jet lag. 
  • I felt like I had a full-blown cold about halfway through our flight home... it was odd how it set in so quickly. The super dry air on the plane didn't help. 
  • Cupcake missed me- she has followed me everywhere, sleeping on me, sitting in my makeup chair with me, even getting in the shower! LOL. My co-anchor Kevin made sure she was taken care of while I was away. 
emilynoel83 on Instagram