Monthly Archives: November 2013

Beauty - "The Lovely"

Exclusive discount on makeup classes at CHICSTUDIOS in NYC!

November 22, 2013

Last week, I had the chance to sit-in a class at CHICSTUDIOS, a makeup artistry school in the Financial District of Manhattan. Instructor Jonny Polizzi led a class on color theory, sculpting and shading, and ended it off by showing students how to do a classic smokey eye before the students paired off to practice doing it on each other. Needless to say, they packed a lot of helpful info in a three-hour class.


The cool thing about the class was how laidback and relaxed it was, while still equipping the students with some really awesome beauty gems. Like the best way to disguise a blemish? Apply concealer on top but also a dab of a lighter shade right beneath it to counteract the shadow of a raised pimple; or how using orange first before concealer on olive-medium skin tones can cancel out the dark gray circles around the eyes best.

Instructor Jonny Polizzi and students

Chic Studios

Sculpting and shading chart

If you’re interested in learning more about how to apply makeup on yourself or on others as a professional makeup artist, I highly recommend checking out some of the classes and workshops CHICSTUDIOS has to offer. The good news is they’ve partnered up with BATF for an exclusive reader discount! Just show them or mention the discount card below!


Check out for more info!

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FOOD - "The Delicious" - Homemade - Mexican - Recipes - Spanish/Latin American

Recipes: Chicken enchiladas, creamy corn esquites, and guacamole

November 21, 2013

I’m nervous to cook a lot of things for a big party, but chicken enchiladas — chicken enchiladas I can do. My friends and I basically stole adopted the recipe from our resident chef in college, Hana Khan. I remember she used to bake tandoori chicken like it ain’t no thang and we all continued to be impressed with how she worked her way around the kitchen in those early years while we were still trying to figure out our left foot from our right.

Mexican food night!

The creamy enchiladas are pretty easy to make (thanks to some shortcuts), but it has a couple of moving parts. Rafia decided to make guacamole and corn esquites (creamy corn) to compliment the main course, and I think it all worked pretty well together! I also loved how she turned the shells of the avocados she used to make the guacamole as little holders for the corn (presentation, people!). Here are all the recipes:


(makes about 15 enchiladas)


1 lb Chicken breast
Red chili powder seasoning
Cajon seasoning
8 oz tub of sour cream
2 Campbell’s cream of broccoli soup
Tortilla wraps (they usually come in packs of 8, so I get two of them)
Medium or hot salsa (depending on preference…I use medium just to be safe)
Shredded cheddar cheese
Canola oil (to fry chicken)


1. Cut chicken breast into small cubes and start seasoning with red chili powder and cajun seasoning right away. I just do it by eye, and make sure all the chicken is full coated, but think it’s about 2 tbs of each seasoning.

2. I then put it all in a Ziplock bag to marinate. I let it marinate overnight in the fridge. If you don’t have that much time, you can just let it sit for an hour or two.

3. In a sauce pan, pour canola oil (about 1/4 cup), and let it warm. Start frying the chicken once it’s warm. After frying all the chicken, place in a plate and keep aside til you make the sauce.

4. In a separate pan or pot, pour sour cream and cream of broccoli soup. Mix it together and warm til the sauce thickens. Then, add the chicken to the mixture.

5. Pre-heat oven to 350. Then use a rectangular baking pan (13×9-inch ones are ideal) for tortillas. Make sure the bottom is greased well.

6. Once the sauce/chicken mixture is ready, spoon about 1/4 cup of the mixture and place a little in each tortilla. Fold over filling and roll up in the tortilla. Place tortilla in pan (seam down). Place each tortialla side by side in the pan.

7. Once each tortilla is placed side by side to fill the pan, take a spoon and spread the top with the salsa. Then, sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is completely melted on top.



1 pack of frozen corn
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
6 tablespoons cojita cheese (or you can use crumbled queso fresco or mild feta cheese)
1 white onion
Olive oil (to sautee onions)
Cayenne pepper or ground chili powder, for sprinkling
1-2 jalapeno peppers
Salt, for sprinkling


Chop the white onion. Heat olive oil in a sauce pan and sautee onions. Then, add corn and continue to satuee and salt to taste. Next, add a cup of water, cayenne pepper and let it all cook until water evaporates. When corn is tender, mix in mayo, butter, jalapeno peppers and cilantro. Sprinkle with cheese.



4 ripe avocadoes
1/4 cup thinly sliced grape or cherry tomatoes (or mangoes if you’re feeling adventurous)
1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
1 jalapeño or serrano pepper, seeds removed and finely chopped
Coarsely chopped cilantro, to taste (about a 1 1/2 teaspoon)
Juice of one half lime (tip: you can grill it in a skillet (it enhances the flavor and warm limes produce more juice)
1/2 teaspoon each cumin and chili powder (or to taste)
Salt and pepper, to taste


Combine all the ingredients except the avocadoes, salt and pepper to give the flavors a chance to meld for a half hour or so. Mash the avocadoes with a fork so there are whole pieces of avocado and then gently fold in the other ingredients. Serve immediately.

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Beauty - "The Lovely" - Nails

Winter lovin: Motives nail polish in Venom

My friend Sabrina sent me a picture of a nail polish I had given her a while ago, saying it was ‘the perfect end of fall/beginning of winter’ shade. The nail polish, “Venom,” is a purple burgundy shade from Lala Anthony’s collection for Motives. What do you think?

Motives for Lala in Venom

Venom is available at for $6.95.

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WIN Valentino, Gucci or Coach!

November 20, 2013

From now until Friday, you have a chance to win a little BIG something from Valentino, Gucci, or Coach from Shop It To Me!


All you have to do to enter is invite friends join Shop It To Me. You’ll get one entry for each friend who signs up. The contest ends at 11:59 PST on Friday, November 22, 2013. GOOD LUCK!

US residents only, must be 18+ years old to enter.

See the official rules.

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Target and Ugly Sweater parties

November 18, 2013

Target is celebrating the ugs with Movember and the love/hate we have with ugly sweater parties. I don’t think I’ve ever attended an ugly sweater party exactly, but the closest thing was something my friends came up with for a joint party of birthdays that they called the ‘Orange Party.’ If it had a tagline, it would be, “…because who looks good in orange?” Naturally, not a lot of us owned anything purely orange, so we had to go out and buy tops that honored the theme (I bought some ugly polyester orange top that I never wore again). Here’s the only picture I can find from that God-forsaken time, which my friend Sarah appropriately captioned, “The most unflattering color ever.”

Why did we agree to this? And yes, there was also orange cake...

The weird camera setting to accentuate the ugs didn’t help. But we played along. The birthday boys even showed up in orange pumpkin outfits (mind you, it was February…where they found those costumes is beyond me).

Whether you’re supporting Movember or attending a similar aforementioned party, Target came out with some products to help support the cause:

Ugly sweater 1

Ugly sweater 2

Ugly sweater 3

Movember socks

Movember glasses

Go from “meh” to “merry” with @Target!

Do you have any memories from ugly sweater parties or Movember? Share them in the comments below!


Keep the convo going by following #MyKindOfHoliday on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest!

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Fashion - interviews

Celebrity stylist Derek Roche’s fashion tips (and what it’s like styling Kobe!)

November 15, 2013

What’s it like to be a stylist to the rich and famous? Lifetime‘s new hit TV show, Million Dollar Shoppers, gives a peek into how it’s like to shop for those with almost unlimited budgets. Styling a celeb is no easy task — not only do you have to work with a lot of strong personalities, but you’re also coming up with a large part of their image and essentially, their signature style (which will, no doubt, be on a platform to be judged by millions).

Celebrity stylist, Derek Roche

These behind-the-scenes gurus are a huge part of what celebrities are rocking on the red carpet and to the store. So how does one make it there? I got a chance to interview Derek Roche, who was offered a job as Sean Combs‘ full time personal stylist. Not only does he come armed with a client roster of A-listers like Nicki Minaj, Kobe Bryant, Jason Derulo, Roche also consults for companies like Estée Lauder, Nike, Hublot and more. He shares some insight into his world of styling and insider tips exclusively with Beauty and the Feast!Read on!

Beauty and the Feast: Tell me a little bit about your journey to styling bigs like Sean Combs and Nicki Minaj.

Derek Roche: Referrals, referrals, referrals — always work hard because someone is definitely watching! I started as an intern in fashion my junior year in college with Patricia Field’s company. After college, I moved to New York with no job but did land another fashion internship at Vibe magazine. That definitely gave me the bug to work in fashion.

BATF: How did you manage living in New York on just an internship?

Roche: The reality is the jobs did not simply start pouring in, so I worked retail at the GAP and continued interning. A good friend actually got promoted at Ralph Lauren and she insisted I give her my resume, and lo and behold, I landed a receptionist gig at Ralph Lauren. I couldn’t wait to answer a ringing phone! From there, I went to assist an editor at Conde Nast and ultimately my former boss at Vibe called and offered me a position as the market editor for men’s and women’s fashion – I couldn’t believe it!

BATF: How did you make the jump from magazines to celebs?

Roche: I worked there until a friend referred me to Sean Diddy Combs as his personal stylist and after a rigorous interview process, I was offered the position. I’ve worked with him for almost seven years now!

Some of stylist Derek Roche's celeb clients

BATF: How’s styling an athlete like Kobe Bryant like?

Roche: Kobe Bryant’s personality is as big as his success. He is super fun! He likes to try new things, yet he is a stickler for fit and detail. I can’t get one pass on him – on or off the court!

BATF: What kind of celebrity is the most fun to style?

Roche: The client who is honest about their personal style and body type…once you can agree on those two things, then it’s time to play! It’s awesome just to vibe and try new things until we find those killer moments that can’t be denied are to die for.

BATF: You’re working with somewhat unlimited budgets–how do you pare it down? I can’t even imagine the options…

Roche: I guess you can compare it to an all-you-can-eat buffet! But I have to be realistic with the needs of my client and make sure that at the end of the day, the items are appropriate and within whatever specifics they provided aside from the budget. Word from the wise: don’t forget the high/low factor! Never be afraid to mix a designer handbag with a pair of Levi’s and a Gap tee!

The cast of Million Dollar Shoppers

BATF: What is one of the craziest things you’ve had to hunt down?

Roche: Authentic royal regalia in Paris for a photoshoot at Versailles with Mark Seliger.

BATF: What are staple pieces that should be in every man’s and woman’s wardrobe?

Roche: For men, a black tee, awesome fitting jeans, blazer, and Converse Chuck Taylors. For women, a white tee, amazing statement necklace, black cocktail dress, and basic black pumps.

BATF: Can you give me some tips to simplify layering clothes?

Roche: Start with the weather and where you’re going…is your layer a jacket or a flannel button down? Is your underpinning an oversized silk blouse or a burnt-out razor back tank? After you get those down then figure out how you want to wear them: serious and classy or fun and sporty.

Thanks Derek for the interview! Catch Million Dollar Shoppers on Lifetime to see Derek in action!

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