I was so excited to open my very first Babbleboxx, a delivery with generous-sized beauty samples that inspires posts like this one. I wasn’t told what was going to be in the box but was pleasantly surprised when it showed up with products that I already loved and new ones I’ve never tried before. Here’s the break down:
This is a preview to a post I’m going to write about my current favorite foundations for medium skin, and I’ve already been obsessed with Make Up For Ever’s new Ultra HD Foundation. A little goes a long way and it looks like you’re wearing nothing. The new formula gives a lightweight Photoshopped finish that I’ll save for special occasions. The package also came with small sample sizes of their Skin Equalizer primers which keeps your foundation in place longer. Just lightly tap the foundation where you need coverage. ($43 at makeupforever.com) JESSICA SIMPSON TEN
Jessica Simpson’s Ten
For Jessica Simpson’s 10th anniversary as a fashion label, she released the fragrance Ten, a fruity floral with a mix of clementine, jasmine, vanilla, and sandalwood. It’s a beautiful day-to-night fragrance that starts off light and builds. The bottle itself is a work of art. They also threw in some of her gold flash tattoos — I’ve loved these ever since I got to play with them at Governor’s Ball this year. ($67 for a 100mL) LAQA & CO. LIP LUBE PENCIL AND CHEEKY LIPS
Laqa & Co. lip and cheek pencils
I’ve seen the NY-based Laqa & Co. products before but this is the first time I’ve ever tried their face products. Their packaging is so cool because they use local artists to design them so they can present their talent to a larger audience, but the product themselves are really high quality. Their lip lube in Golly Gee Whiz looked like an intense red on the outside, but it goes on smooth with a semi-sheer, just-bitten finish. It also has a hint of peppermint and shea butter to soften. If you want something more intense and matte though, their Mixtape and Humblebrag are GORGEOUS shades of red and pink that do double-duty — swipe it on your cheeks and blend for a flush of color.
Finally, I was sent a sample and full sizes of sunless tanning Way Too Tan’s Dark Hybrid Tanning Silicone. The only time I use anything tanning is for my legs which don’t see enough sun (especially now in these colder months). The pump bottle is perfect for a non-messy application of the neutral-colored cream that that you apply before outdoor and indoor tanning and helps get your tone even and deep. It also has antioxidants like grape seed extract to help protect the skin. (Check out waytootan.com for more info).
Anyone try these products? Let me know what you think — you might be seeing me sport more of Laqa & Co products on my IG…
I’ve been team long-hair for so long, that when I finally chopped my hair a few months ago, it took me a while to figure out how to style it. A few of you have asked how I do the messy waves in my pictures, so I did a quick video on Instagram on it. Check it out:
I know what you’re thinking. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure if I could tell you something new about a chain restaurant like California Pizza Kitchen either. I don’t write about a lot of chains mostly because NYC has so much variety. That’s not a knock on chains, but I personally feel like you come to NYC to try all those quaint, unique places that make the city so exciting to experience. But when I was invited to check out CPK’s new menu, and it really did exceed my expectations, mostly because this time I tried dishes beyond just their pizza.
So this haircut is REALLY new. I can’t remember the last time I had short hair but I’m loving the change for a little bit. As a result of me being on Team Long Hair for so long though, I feel like I’m learning how to style hair all over again. Luckily, I was in good hands with the team at Ouidad, who specialize in hair products for curly and wavy-haired peeps (ME!).
Ouidad’s Texture Taffy and PlayCurl Curl Amplifying Styling Spray
Styled by Chadwick Pendley
The Texture Paste has little pliable fibers that you can use on wet hair to give your curls (or in my case, waves) shape before you dry it. He used a curling iron to define my waves a more, before using Ouidad’s PlayCurl styling spray, which gave my hair a little more grit and beach waves. Finally, he showed me their Texture Smoothing Frizz & Flyaway Fighter Spray which helps get rid of any excess frizz.
I found this recipe on Instagram of all places, and I like that it’s an easy, protein-packed, gluten-free pancake recipe that only uses a few ingredients. Besides the fact that it gives me a ton of energy, it tastes great:
3 egg whites
1 scoop of protein powder (I use a vanilla flavored one)
1/2 cup of rolled oats
1/4 cup of low-fat cottage cheese
1/2 tsp of vanilla extract (optional)
1 tsp of almond milk (optional)
Optional: sliced fruits like strawberries
Combine eggs, protein, rolled oats, cottage cheese, and almond milk together in a blender and blend until it liquifies. The almond milk makes it a little thinner (I use Blue Diamond’s Almond Breeze milk in Vanilla/Unsweetened) so you can add it if you have it but you don’t have to have it for this recipe. I also have made this a ton of times without the vanilla extract and it tastes great even without it, so don’t fret if you don’t have those ingredients.
In a small skillet, add a little olive oil or cooking spray over low heat and pour in mixture. After a few minutes, or until edges solidify, flip pancake over and cook other side. This recipe is enough for two pancakes.
I’m the person who runs at the gym while watching the Food Network, and during my down time at work (when not testing lipstick swatches), I’m reading articles on food. I came across one about how to sear scallops the right way, and I became enticed by the idea of trying it myself.
My seared scallops!
I realized it’s not difficult at all when prepped the right way. A few things I learned:
1) Make sure to buy DRY scallops as opposed to wet ones. The quality is better and it’s easier to cook. Wet scallops are treated with sodium tripolyphosphate (STP), I learned which makes it difficult to sear because it absorbs so much moisture. A lot of grocery stores serve them this way. DRY scallops are a little more expensive, but more fresh and have a better flavor. Dry ones are more fleshy and translucent compared to wet ones, which look opaque, pale, or white.
[Just FYI: Veestro is providing a special discount code for BATF readers at the end!]
I’m so used to cooking practically all my meals now but I was totally game to hang up my cooking utensils for a week to try Veestro, a gourmet, plant-based, organic meal service. I’m not a vegetarian but I’ve cut my meat consumption a LOT, so the thing that attracted me most to Veestro was that they use all-natural ingredients with no preservatives or animal products. You can buy them by meal or by meal-plan depending on your focus (high protein, gluten-free, weight-loss, etc.)
Veestro’s Kale & Quinoa salad with tempeh bits and tahini dressing
Veestro asked if I’d try a 5-day meal plan (15 meals) to see what I thought. They sent me some info about the perks of a plant-based diet. Besides promoting long term sustainable weight loss, they’re low in saturated fats, high in fiber, and reduce excess cholesterol intake. Not to mention, they’re rich in antioxidants, plant sterols, phytochemicals, and potassium, which are all thought to reduce the risk of heart disease. Of course, there’s a lot that rides on the quality of the plant-based and non-meat products you’re eating — if you’re not eating meat but eating an excess of processed foods, for example, you’re still taking in a lot of calories.
I’m sure you recognize Zico coconut water from your grocery store, but I was able to get a closer look at InStyle + Single Edition Media’s #SummerSocial event a couple weeks ago. I think I may have even found my favorite flavor there: pineapple which tastes close to a fancy pina colada. It’s hard to believe how many health benefits each serving has.
And they’re always spinning the best tunes
Zico’s new coconut water flavors
Besides having zero fat and cholesterol, it’s gluten-free and contains a chock full of electrolytes like potassium, magnesium, sodium, calcium, and phosphorus so I’ve been trying to take more before and after my workouts.
The coconut water is sourced from Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, where suppliers source coconuts of local farms and work directly with coconut plantations. Many of them have kept it in families for generations.