Friday, March 29, 2013

Spring 2013 Nail Polish Favourites

One of my favourite aspects of spring is the pretty, pastel nail polish shades that show up on store shelves in early March.
This year, my list of spring polish favourites features pinks, greens, peaches, nudes, and, of course, pastels.
Which ones do you like best from my list below, and what will you be wearing on your nails this season?
To see reviews, swatches, and nail designs featuring these shades, check out the Nail Art and NOTD tabs on my blog’s menu bar.

Essie Neo Whimsical, OPI Play the Peonies, Zoya Jaime

Zoya Rory, Zoya Gei Gei, Zoya Barbie, Zoya Erika

Essie Fiji, Orly Cotton Candy, Butter London Teddy Girl

Zoya Jacqueline, Zoya Kennedy

Zoya Bevin, Essie Mint Candy Apple

Easy Raspberry Cake Filling

I wanted to add something special to a chocolate-covered Funfetti cake, so I made a quick and easy raspberry filling.


1 1/2 cups frozen, unsweetened raspberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp cornstarch

1. Thaw raspberries and strain juice.
2. Add water to the raspberry juice to create 3/4 cup of liquid.
3. Pour the juice/water mixture in a small  saucepan, and add the lemon juice and cornstarch. Stir to combine. Cook over medium heat, whisking frequently until mixture thickens and begins to bubble. Remove from heat.
4. Place the thawed raspberries in a bowl and mash with a spoon to a pulp-like consistency. If you want a seedless filling, mash the thawed berries in a wire strainer, catching the seedless pulp in a bowl below. You will need 1/2 cup of pulp (*I did not use the seedless option because I like the crunch that the seeds add to the filling).
5. Add the pulp to the cooled mixture. Stir well and refrigerate for 4-6 hours or overnight.

The cooled mixture before the pulp was added. At this stage, it tastes like a thick, sweet jelly donut filling.

The finished, cooled filling. It lasts up to a week in the fridge, so, after using two thirds of the filling in my cake, I used the rest to sweeten plain Greek yogurt.

Here’s a picture of the cake (it was delicious!):

Let me know if you try out this recipe!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Pretty Spring Nail Art

While I love seeing nail looks around this type of year that include rabbits, grass, and colourful Easter eggs, I like to wear designs on my nails that will be appropriate long after the egg hunt ends.
This year, I created a shimmery pink floral look with pearl accents. It was very quick and easy to create, and it’s perfect for spring.

Check out my video below to see how I created the look and which products I used. I also have a picture of last year’s look which uses more pastel shades.

Easter / Spring Nail Tutorial

Thursday, March 14, 2013

NOTD: Zoya Jacqueline

Jacqueline is part of Zoya’s Spring 2013 Lovely collection. Zoya describes this shade as a full-coverage, perfect magnolia nude cream.

While I found that this polish applied very smoothly and evenly, I needed to apply two coats of it to get full coverage. I had to add a third coat to get the opacity that I was hoping for, but two coats look nice as well.

I do agree that “nude” and “magnolia” are fitting words to describe this shade (buttercream works well too!). However, this polish does not have a true cream finish formula. As you can see from the photo above, Jacqueline contains very soft shimmer particles. The shimmer is virtually invisible most of the time (it shows up in sunlight), but it prevents the polish from having a stark finish. For this reason, I’m very impressed with the natural, clean look that this polish gives my nails. The shimmer diffuses any nail imperfections and makes the nail surface look smoother.

Overall, I really like this polish and feel that it will work perfectly as an every day, work-appropriate shade, or as a neutral base for nail art designs.

Monday, March 11, 2013

St. Patty’s Day Nail Look

Even though my busy schedule often prevents me from painting my nails as often as I would like, I always make time to create holiday-themed nail looks. Since St. Patrick’s Day is this month, I created this green, white, and gold design.

To see a video tutorial of this look, click HERE.

To see more of my nail art, click HERE.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Healthy & Delicious Chocolate Pudding

I must confess that I have a serious sweet tooth. I can’t make it through a day…or sometimes an hour…without eating something sweet. Despite how much I love the taste of sugary foods, I know that it’s not healthy to eat them all the time, so I’m always looking for recipes that will help me get my sweet fix without compromising my health.

Recently I came across a wonderful recipe for the delicious chocolate pudding that you see in the photo above. I found it on Lauren Conrad’s website which always features lots of amazing, yet healthy, recipes. I modified the recipe a bit to fit my style (see the original recipe HERE). Not only is this pudding much healthier than regular, processed-sugar-infused pudding that can be found at the grocery store, it tastes great and is a satisfying snack.

Let me know what you think if you try it out.


1 ripe avocado
3 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup maple syrup or agave
2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp vanilla Greek yogurt and 1 strawberry for garnish (skip the yogurt if you want vegan pudding)

1. Combine ingredients in a food processor or blender.
2. Blend until smooth and the avocado is no longer visible.
3. Place the Greek yogurt on top of the pudding.
4. Slice the strawberry and sprinkle it on top of the yogurt.
5. Refrigerate for 1 hour before eating (this is optional but I think that it makes the pudding taste so much better and gives it a firmer texture).
6. Enjoy!

Friday, March 8, 2013

500 Blog Followers Beauty Giveaway

When I started my blog over a year ago, I had no idea that I would ever reach 500 blog followers. It is truly an honour and I would like to thank all of you with a beauty giveaway.
You can enter by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.
Good Luck!

****This giveaway is international and will close on Saturday, March 30 at 12:00 AM****
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

My Perfect Red Lip

Since I tend to shy away from bold makeup, achieving the perfect red lip has always been a challenge for me…until now.
I have never been a lipstick type of gal and, while I love a red gloss, it’s quite windy where I live and my hair always tends to get caught in gloss and leave unpleasant sticky streaks of colour on my cheeks.
For the past two weeks, I have been layering Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Tinted Lip Balm in Rose over Benetint from Benefit. The result is a pigmented red stain that lasts for hours. The Benetint works perfectly as a base because it stays put and does not leave a harsh border on the lips. The Burt’s Bees balm is a perfect topper because it evens out the colour of the Benetint, makes the shade more vibrant, and adds non-sticky moisture to the lips. It also has a pleasant cherry scent.
I love how the combination brings a healthy, youthful glow to my complexion. Not to mention, I can add an extra layer of the balm throughout the day without needing a mirror.
What’s your perfect red lip combination?

Saturday, March 2, 2013

NOTD: Butter London Queen Vic

Butter London’s nail polish in Queen Vic is the perfect berry shade for my pale cool-toned skin. Although the colour looks very pretty in the photos above and below, it is even richer in real life. Since my camera finds it difficult to accurately capture anything with red tones, the colour appears a lot more red in the photos. Queen Vic is actually deeper and more purple toned. In fact, Butter London describes it by saying, “Stunning, elegant and classy. Red wine meets cranberry. Fit for a queen.”
Aside from the colour, the formula of this polish is very impressive. It applied smoothly, dried quickly, and lasted for six days without any chipping. I couldn’t help but look at my nails every few minutes while wearing this polish to admire the way that it brightened up my hands with its rich tones and shiny finish. I received many compliments while wearing this shade.
My only complaint is that Queen Vic left my fingers with a red stain for a few days after I removed it with nail polish remover. To avoid this type of staining, I recommend using a good base coat and a strong polish remover.
Overall, Queen Vic is a gorgeous polish with a great formula. It will continue to be a go-to shade for me during the fall and winter months.

Sally Hansen Real Nail Polish Strips in Are You Single? (Review + Photos)

Back on June 22 I made a haul post featuring these nail strips from Sally Hansen. In the post I said that I would likely save the strips for Valentine’s Day because the little leaves in the pink, purple, red, and silver pattern look like hearts.
I wore them to a special dinner a few days after Valentine’s Day. I didn’t have much time to do my nails and couldn’t wait for regular nail polish to dry. Then I remembered that I had these nail strips in Are You Single? and decided to try them out.
The strips were very easy to apply. I only encountered a bit of difficulty with trying to find the perfect size strip to fit my nail. I have very small nails and a lot of the strips were just a tiny bit too big so I had to trim them with scissors. They were easy to cut though and I did not ruin any strips during trimming process.
The best part about this product is that it truly sticks to the nails and lasts for two weeks. I left mine on for 14 days with only minimal chipping on my dominant hand after 8 days. I didn’t have to keep pushing down lifting edges and there were no air bubbles. The strips removed easily with regular nail polish remover.
Overall, I really enjoyed this product and would definitely purchase more if I find them on sale because these strips can be a bit pricey where I live.
Have you tried these nail strips from Sally Hansen? If so, what are your thoughts on them?