So I’m going to do the 30 Day Song Challenge, since I have recently discovered some beautiful music — and rediscovered some oldies but goodies.  I love sharing music.  If it’s a song that keeps me going or means something to me, I can’t keep it quiet.  So this challenge is a perfect excuse to give some of my favorite songs to you all — and perhaps a few not-so-favorite songs, depending on the day’s question according to the official challenge list.

Day 1:  Current Favorite Song?
(You all should reply to this post with your current favorite song!)

Mine is Bulletproof Picasso by Train.  It’s their new single, and it is beyond catchy and cheerful.  It is the perfect song to end the summer with.

NYX Cosmetics Soft Matte Lip Creams

Lip swatches — photos top to bottom:  Stockholm, Antwerp, Cannes, Amsterdam, Prague, Monte Carlo, and Copenhagen.

These lip creams are fan-freakin’-tabulous.  They are by far my top favorite lip product at the moment in the entire world of makeup (say whaaaattt?) YES.  Sure, I have favorite lipsticks and colors, but these are the best lip products ever.  On the market.  I’m just waiting for something to beat them, because they are that good.

Now, I’m a matte lipstick person.  I love glossy when it’s a natural color (creams, sheer peaches, nudes, etc), but when it comes to more vibrant colors — I want matte.  It’s just classier, in my opinion.  Classier, sexier, and in some ways — even more natural looking, if it’s done the right way (think Zooey Deschanel.  She a boss at rocking matte lipsticks). 

These are matte, yet not drying.  They can be easily sheered out to a tint of color, or built up, Cruella Deville style.  So it’s a win-win.  

I currently own 7 shades, and I can’t even pick a favorite (I lean more towards muaves and plums, but seriously, all of these shades are amazing and equally wearable — even the dark ones, like “Copenhagen” in the last photo.

There are a ton more shades to choose from, other than these, and there are so many that will fit the lightest skin-tones to the darkest skin-tones, I promise.

*Tip:  If you’re going to purchase some, I recommend you go to Ulta.com, print out their $3.50 off any $10.00 purchase, and pick up a couple.  To buy in store is obviously cheaper because you won’t have shipping, but use the coupon code if it’s online.

August 21 2014, 07:54 PM   •   1 note

A year ago, I had to leave someone special behind on Long Island.  Her name is Mary (aka “Mars-bars”).  She is my oldest friend.  A few times over the phone, I’ve casually mentioned to her how much I miss Brownstone’s Coffee Shop.  They make the BEST coffee in all of Long Island.  Seriously… I swear it’s run by wizard’s, and there is a secret entrance to Diagon Alley on Merrick Road.  

Anyway, a week ago, a bag of Brownstone’s Long Island Blend arrived in the mail, along with four beautiful handmade friendship bracelets, a black iPod case she promised to send me a year ago, a letter from her, and chopsticks.

Back to the coffee.  
It’s been a week, and the coffee is almost done.  I’ve been savoring every last drop.  Sounds dramatic, you say?  Sorry not sorry… because every morning with every sip I’m taken back to a specific winter memory:  This year’s cold January rain and slush, walking to Brownstone’s Coffee Shop with Mary, Moira, Louis, Greg, and Pete, stopping by High Fidelity Records & CD’s, rummaging through used Switchfoot music, then walking back, soaking wet and freezing, clutching our steaming coffee cups, getting caught in gusts of icy wind, and finally reaching home where we huddled around the kitchen table with our warm drinks and adventure plans.

So, thanks Mary, for sending a little bit of home to me.  

(On a different note……. is Long Island extremely hard to draw, or is it just me?)

August 21 2014, 12:57 PM   •   2 notes

Favorite Summer Lipsticks: NYX COSMETICS Matte Lipsticks in Merlot, Indie Flick, and Bloody Mary

August 20 2014, 11:40 PM   •   4 notes

Vanilla Bean Cake (with Vanilla Bean Espresso Frosting) Recipe

VANILLA BEAN CAKE INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 1/4 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 1/2 tsps baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, — softened to room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cups milk — at room temperature
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs — at room temperature


HOW TO:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease and flour three 9-inch round cake pans.
  3. In a large mixing bowl fitted with paddle, whisk together the sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Add the softened butter in large chunks all at once and beat on low speed until the butter is well and evenly blended in and it resembles sand.  
  4. Combine the milk and vanilla and add to the dry ingredients; beat on low speed then increase the speed to medium and continue to beat until thoroughly mixed. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, and then beat again.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl as needed after each egg. Once all four eggs are blended in, beat at high speed.
  6. Divide the batter evenly among the 3 prepared cake pans and bake in the preheated oven until the cake is set in the center and lightly golden, from 30 - 35 minutes, depending on your oven (keep close watch). Insert toothpick in center to check if i comes out dry.
  7. Cool completely before frosting cake.


VANILLA BEAN ESPRESSO FROSTING INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, SOFTENED from room temperature
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 3 - 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 - 4 Tablespoons cream
  • Seeds from half (or whole, your choice) of a vanilla bean
  • Pinch of salt (optional)


HOW TO:

  1. Cream the butter and cream cheese until completely softened, smooth and fluffy.  
  2. Gradually beat in some of the powdered sugar.  
  3. Slowly add cream and vanilla bean seeds.  You can eye the rest of the ingredients if you want to make more, but keep testing the icing along the way, because it can easily become too sweet if you add too much sugar — and too watery if don’t add enough.  So keep track.


Then frost your cake!

August 20 2014, 10:48 PM   •   4 notes

Virginia adventures.

August 18 2014, 11:36 PM   •   2 notes


Going to a wedding and I felt adventurous with my nails.
My first (second attempt) acrylic nail success!  So years of that nail technician job finally paid off! :P  

I used this kit from Walgreens.

July 30 2014, 10:00 AM   •   1 note

FOXTALE COSMETICS Vegan Mineral EYESHADOW in “Utter East”, IN STOCK NOW:  $6.00 + shipping (or $0.75 + shipping for sample bag) 

"Where sky and water meet
Where the waves grow sweet
Doubt not, Reepicheep, 
To find all you seek
There is the utter East”

"Utter East" is an oceanic blue that smacks of Narnian adventure and hope. If you listen closely, you can almost hear the splashing of the waves, the seagulls, dozens of boots clomping on The Dawn Treader’s decks. This shade of blue is both vibrant yet soft. Use it wet with a small defined brush as an eyeliner, or use it dry in the center of your lids as a pop of summer color to any neutral makeup. 

Can be applied damp or dry.

I handmake and hand-mix all of my eye shadows with mineral ingredients. They are packed into 5 gram jars, and sealed with unopened sifters. All of my jars are shrink-wrapped before mailed, to further ensure clean and mess-free shipping.

*Organic.
*Vegan-friendly.
*Not tested on animals

Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide, Megnesium Sterate, Silk Mica, Oxide, Mica…
CLICK HERE (my Etsy shop) for more information

July 22 2014, 01:08 PM   •   5 notes

FOXTALE COSMETICS Vegan Mineral EYESHADOW in “Lucy”, IN STOCK NOW:  $6.00 + shipping (or $0.75 + shipping for sample bag) 

"I think — I don’t know — but I could be brave enough." — Lucy Pevensie ["The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardobe" by C.S. Lewis]

"Lucy" is a sheer, luminous shade of pink. Like the humble but valiant Queen of Narnia, it is elegant but simple. This is an extremely versatile eye shadow, made to be worn for all kinds of occasions, in so many different ways. Use this shade as a brow bone highlight, as the main eyelid color, or as an accent. Not only can it be worn as an eye shadow, but "Lucy" can also be used as a face highlight, by dabbing a little bit of this on your cupid’s bow or even your cheek bones, for a subtle, glowing look.

Can be applied damp or dry.

I handmake and hand-mix all of my eye shadows with mineral ingredients. They are packed into 5 gram jars, and sealed with unopened sifters. All of my jars are shrink-wrapped before mailed, to further ensure clean and mess-free shipping.

*Organic.
*Vegan-friendly.
*Not tested on animals

Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide, Megnesium Sterate, Silk Mica, Oxide, Mica…
CLICK HERE (my Etsy shop) for more information

July 21 2014, 12:06 AM   •   4 notes

Lórien (Vegan Mineral Eye Shadow) 

Attention: NEW SHADE “Lórien” in stock in my Etsy shop now!*

"Lórien" is an enchanting shade that sparkles both silver and golden in the sunlight, much like Tolkien’s fictional forest of "Lóthlórien" in Middle Earth. It has cool lavender undertones, a taupe base, and silver and gold sheen. It is an extremely versatile shade, capable of being worn alone with one single swipe, or as the star of a bold smokey eye.

Price: $6.00 + shipping (or $0.75 + shipping for sample baggie)

*Only two 5 gram jars available! I can make more upon request — however, I have to order the four micas I used to create this shade, so it will take more than a week for me to re-stock this color. If the two are sold by the time you want one, feel free to request it, just know that it will take a little time for me to make and re-stock it.