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Sunday, 29 June 2014

15-Minute No Bake Brownies Recipe

Eggless No-Bake Biscuit Brownie

I searched the internet for no-bake brownies.  Some recipes called for cocoa powder, some called for chocolate.  There are even vegan no-bake brownies. I was looking for the easiest one and decided to combined a few techniques to suit myself.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 Minutes

22 Marie biscuits
200g sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup chopped roasted nuts
20g cocoa powder (can use baking chocolate as well - melted with condensed milk)

Line a baking tray with non stick paper - waxed wrap or cling wrap
Crush Marie Biscuits.  You can leave few bigger pieces to add to the texture of the brownies.
Add 20g of cocoa powder.
Add chopped nuts
Mix Well
Add 200g condensed milk
Mix really well making sure all the dry ingredients are combined thoroughly with the condensed milk.
Transfer into a lined baking tray  with wax wrap or cling wrap for easy removal.
Press down firmly.
Refrigerate. Let  it chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.

After I removed them from the fridge, I spread Nutella over the top then cut them into squares.

My Verdict?  This was soo simple.  All I had to do was combine all the dry ingredients with condensed milk and wait.  No boiling or baking.

Method number two:
Crush a pack of Marie Biscuits
Mix a tin of condensed milk in a microwave safe bowl with baking chocolate (add chocolate chips as well if you prefer - instead of nuts).  Cover and microwave, checking and stirring at 30 second to 1 minute intervals.
Combine with the biscuits and pour into a lined baking tray.
Refrigerate for 3 hours
Optional - spread with Nutella then cut into squares


High-end Makeup Starter Kit

I previously posted a drugstore makeup starter kit and thought that I would do post on a high end starter kit as well.

The only problem I had is that In some categories, I could not pick just one item. I am fond of a few products in different brands.

Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch
Clarins Beauty Flash Balm
Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Good Morning Retexturizing Primer
Some people swear by Benefit POREfessional (have not tried this one yet)

Clarins Everlasting Foundation
Bobbi Brown New Skin foundation Stick
Stila Stay All Day Foundation and concealer

Clinique All About Eyes Concealer

Mac Mineralize Skinfinish Natural

Guerlain - Terracotta Bronzer Powder (voted editors choice in 2013)

Clinique "Cheek Pop" Blushes
Clarins Blushes
Chanel Blushes

Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick
Mac Minerlize Skinfinish - Soft & Gentle

Eyeliner Pencil:
Elizabeth Eye Pencil

Gel liner:
Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner
Clinique Brush On Cream Liner
Mac Fluidline
Inglot Matte Gel Eyeliner

Estee Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Mascara

Elizabeth Arden lip Pencils
Mac Lip Pencils

Yves Saint- Laurent
M-A-C Lipsticks
Chanel - Rouge Coco Shine Hydrating Colour Lipshine

Elizabeth Arden High Shine Lip Gloss
Bobbi Brown - High Shimmer Lipgloss

Eyeshadow Primer:
Benefit Stay Dont Stray
Mac Painterly Paint Pot

Stila In The Light Eyeshadow Palette
Inglot Eyeshadows
Mac Eyeshadows

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Drugstore Makeup Starter Kit

I have been asked a few times what items I would purchase from the drugstore as a makeup starter kit.  (Not high-end, reasonably priced).  I have a few overseas holy grail drugstore items, but I will keep this post purely about items we can find in South Africa only.

1. Primer - Revlon Photoready Perfecting Primer (Or Rimmel Fix & Perfect Primer)
2. Revlon Colour Stay Foundation (Combo / Oily or Normal / Dry Formula)
3. Concealer - Revlon Age Defying Targeted Dark Spot Concealer
3. Powder - Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder (Or Lorea'l True Match Powder)
4. Bronzer - Revlon Natural Bronze or Rimmel Natural Bronzer
5. Blush -  Catrice Defining Blush
6. Catrice Prime & Fine Highlighting Powder
7. Khol Eyeliner Pencils - 2True Easyglide Khol Pencils (Black & Brown)
8. Gel Liner -  L.A. Girl Gel Liner and Brush
9. Mascara - Essence I love Extreme Crazy Volume Mascara
10. Lip Liner - Essence Lip Liner Pencils
11. Lipstick - Essence Longlasting Lipstick - does not require lipgloss over the top
12. Essence XXXL Shine Lipgloss
13. Eyeshadow Primer - Essence I Love Stage Eyeshadow Base
14. Eyeshadow - Wet N Wild Palettes or Trios

Revlon Photoready Perfecting Primer

Revlon Colorstay Foundation

Revlon Age Defying Targeted Dark Spot Concealer

Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder

Revlon Naural Bronze

Rimmel Natural Bronzer

Catrice Prime and Fine Highlighting Powder

Catrice Defining Blush

2True EasyGlide Khol Pencils
L.A Girl Gel Liner & Brush

Essence i Love Extreme Crazy Volume Mascara

Essence Lip Liner pencils

Essence Longlasting Lipstick

Essence XXXL Shine Lipgloss

Essence I Love Stage Eyeshadow Base

Wet N Wild Comfort Zone Palette

Wet N Wild Trio Eyeshadows

The Beauty Scenario Tag

I have read this tag on a number of beauty blogs and have enjoyed watching the videos on YouTube. So I decided to give this tag a go. I hope you enjoy my tag and please do the beauty scenario tag yourself!

1)  You have to get rid of all your foundations, and only keep one high-end and one drugstore, which do you keep?
My high-end foundation is definitely Clarins Everlasting Foundation in 110 Honey.  I always come back to this one.  it is a staple in my makeup stash.
My drugstore foundation would be Revlon Colorstay in Golden Beige.

2)  You go for an interview and the lady interviewing you has lipstick on her teeth.  Do you approach the subject or ignore it completely?
I think I would be hesitant to tell her.  You don't know how the interviewer would react,  The interviewer observes  you intently in an interview, so she might take it the wrong way as if you're being arrogant.  Its a tough one to tell an interviewer that she has lipstick on her teeth because you want the job, and don't want to ruin your chances by telling her.  Hopefully the interviewers colleagues will tell her way after I have left.  I  would tell a friend or a co-worker and would want to be told if I had lipstick on my teeth.  
3)  Your not feeling yourself and you need a pick me up lipstick.  which one do you go for?
The lipstick I love and always get compliments when I wear it is Revlon Super Lustrous Creme lipstick in 490 Mad About Mauve.

4)  You go back in time for a day to your teenage years, how would you do your hair and makeup differently?
In my teenage years when I started working part-time, the only lipstick  I wore was red lipstick.  I think that I should have explored more flattering colours.
Concerning my hair, in my early twenties, not teens, I coloured my hair alot.  it looked good, but is caused alot of damage.  I would have looked after my hair a bit better and used the correct after care products. 
I should have also started using sunscreen on my face from the time I was a teenager.

5)  You ask your hairdresser for a shoulder length pixie lott hair cut but they hear wrong and give you a pixie haircut.  Do you A) smile, say thank you, leave and call your mum and cry hysterical. B) cry in the chair and things get awkward or C) complain to the manager and demand a refund?
I am currently rocking the pixie cut at the moment. But if this was not what I asked for I would probably not just keep quiet about it.
At the end of the day, its my money which I worked hard for. So sternly (no shouting and performing) I would ask her what the heck she thought she was doing as I made myself clear before she started.  
Thereafter I would let the manager know as she needs to know what is happening,  They are running a business and they need to know the good things, so they can keep it up, and the bad things, so they know what to change to make the business better.
Depending on how the complaint was received, I would like an apology, instead of a full refund.
A voucher for a treatment would be nice though.

6) Your friend surprises you with a 4 day city break and you have 1 hour to pack.  Which "do it all" palette do you pack in your makeup bag?
Hands down, my "do it all palette" is my sleek i Divine - Au Naturel palette 

7)  Your house has been robbed, don't worry everyone is safe, but your beauty stash has been raided.  What's the product you really hope is safe?
Rob my beauty stash and I will hunt you down dammit! Lmao.  I think  would cry for days.  It is really hard to say what product I hope would be safe since I have favourites in every category.  I think eyeshadow palettes would be the hardest to replace.  
8)  Your friend borrows your makeup and returns it in an awful condition.  Do you A) just pretend you haven't noticed B) ask them to repurchase it or C) secretly do the same to something of theirs ...
I do not lend out my makeup ever!  I avoid situations like these.  No one looks after your stuff like yourself.
If I found myself in this situation, I would probably mention it to her.  I would tell her that I lent it to her in good condition and that she needs to look after stuff that she has borrowed,and that what she did was not appreciated.  So next time she borrows a friends things, she will know to look after it.  I don't think I would ask her to repurchase it for me.  I would tell her to keep the damaged product.  An apology would be nice though.

I hope you enjoyed reading!  Leave a link in the comments section if you tried this tag as well.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Makeup Expiration : Shelf Life Of Cosmetics

Hi there

I have been wanting to do a post on makeup / cosmetic expiration for a while now.  So here are some F.A.Q's that people need to know.

Cosmetics shelf life F.A.Q.

1. Do cosmetics expire?

Yes, as any other products.

2. What are production date, expiration date and PAO?

Production date (or manufacture date) is the date when your product was manufactured. 

Expiration date is the date after which your cosmetic product will be expired and should not be used anymore. .
Period after opening (open-jar) signTo clarify how long you can use your product once you opened it, Period after opening (PAO) sign is used. Try finding “open jar” sign with a number followed by the letter M, where number indicates how many months the product can be safely used for after opening. 

3. How can I determine exact expiration date for my cosmetics?

Your makeup will expire as soon as expiration date is reached OR end of PAO is reached.
Basically there are two options:
- Expiration date will be reached first:
Expiration date will be reached first
- PAO will be reached first:
PAO will be reached first

4. How long can I keep my cosmetics and be in safe?

Generally speaking, you can keep your cosmetics unopened up to 3 years. This is quite general term, and can depend from product and company produced it.
Please note: as soon as you opened it, you should also maintain the PAO.

5. What is average PAO for my mascara (lipstick, gloss etc)?

General period after opening is:
Perfumes, perfume, edp – up to 3 years;
Powders (including blush, eyeshadows powdery texture) – 1 to 3 years;
Foundation in a jar or a cream powder – 1 to 3 years;
Liquid tone means (in tubes or jars with dispenser) – 1 year;
Nail polish – 1 year;
Sun cosmetics – 1 year (but no more than one season);
Lipstick, lip gloss – 1 year;
Pencil (Eye, Lip) – about 1 year;
Skin care products (hydrating cosmetics, wrinkle, eye contour) in a sealed packet with the pump – about a year, in a jar – from 6 to 10 months;
Solid eyeliner and eyebrow pencil – from 6 to 8 months;
Bronzing – 6 months;
Mascara – 3-6 months;
Liquid eyeliner – from 3 to 4 months;
Natural/Organic products – up to 6 months.
Please note that natural and organic cosmetics, which do not include preservatives, can be stored up to 6 months after opening. Reason: absence of preservatives leads to a proliferation of bacteria.

6. How can I determine that cosmetic has been expired / not fresh?

The general rule is simple: as soon as you notice changes in your cosmetics – this means that the shelf life came to the end.
First of all, the smell: as soon as you feel any nasty notes, sharpness or rancidity, trash it.
Pay attention to appearance, texture , or gases have been formed in a tube – the shelf life is out!
It is very easy to determine “old age” mascara – as soon as it is dry, throw it away with no regrets, and in any case, do not try to “revive”.
Nail polish can be considered worthless, as soon as it began to thicken and harden.
Even if the recently purchased cosmetics were in the heat for quite a long time – do not use it anymore.
As a conclusion, if you have any suspicion about the appearance or odour of the product, it is better do not use it anymore. It is recommended to not use cosmetics after any visible changes in colour, texture or odour.

7. What are possible consequences of using expired cosmetics?

In the best case, expired cosmetics just stop doing what it should do; it can change its appearance, smell and colour, or become a sticky or oily.
In the worst case, expired cosmetics can result in skin irritation, dermatitis, allergic reactions and infection.

No Bake Lemon Cream Pie

Hi All

I had a craving for a lemon dessert and wanted to know how to make one instead of buying one.
After research on the internet, I could not believe how easy it is to make a lemon dessert.  
The following recipe for a Lemon Cream Pie is the one I made last weekend and I simply loved it!

1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup lemon juice
Orley Whip - Non dairy dessert topping
1/3 cup butter - melted
Oaties Biscuits or Digestive Biscuits (Ginger biscuits or Tennis Biscuits if preferred)
You can also buy the crust already prepared from the supermarket.
(Optional - Yellow food colouring)

For the crust-
Grind biscuits in a processor / twister, mix with melted butter in a bowl.  (Some people add sugar in as well, I did not)  Pour the mix in a 9 inch pie pan and press the mixture into the bottom and sides of the pan.  I then put the crust into the fridge.  You may put it in the oven for 8 minutes if desired, but I did not.

For the pie-
In a bowl, combine condensed milk and lemon juice.  Mix until thickened; to the consistency of yoghurt.  If desired, mix in a few drops of yellow food colouring (I did not add any).
Gently fold in whipped topping until well mixed.  Pour into crust and refrigerate for at least 1 to 2 hours  or until ready to serve.

The second batch  I made this weekend, I left out the Orley Whip completely, just for a different variation.
There was even more of a lemon flavour,  I could then add cream on top any time I liked, or add fruit on top, or eat them as they where.