Monthly Archives: September 2015

Beauty - "The Lovely" - Hair

Learning to style my hair with Ouidad

September 21, 2015

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!).

At Sixty Soho with Ouidad's team

At Sixty Soho with Ouidad’s team

I met with Ouidad stylist , Chadwick Pendley, at SixtySoho during Fashion Week, where taught me about my new friends: Ouidad’s Wave Create Texture Taffy and PlayCurl Curl Amplifying Styling Spray.

Ouidad's Texture Taffy and PlayCurl Amplifying styling spray

Ouidad’s Texture Taffy and PlayCurl Curl Amplifying Styling Spray


Styled by Chadwick Pendley

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.
ouidad2

Hair: Chadwick Pendley (@ChadPendley5)
Makeup: Erica Gonzalez (@ericamua)
Venue: Sixty Soho (@sixtyhotels)
Event Host: Natali Zfat (@NatalieZfat)
Photographer (profile photo): Simbarashe Cha (@LordAshbury)

Any one else have favorites from the line? Also, if you have a similar lob style, let me know what products you use!


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Beauty - "The Lovely"

The newest hair-color technique uses glass!

September 15, 2015

Check out my latest post for Allure!

Allure.com

Allure.com

Link to article: http://www.allure.com/beauty-trends/blogs/daily-beauty-reporter/2015/09/hair-color-hand-pressed-glass.html

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Breakfast/Brunch - FOOD - "The Delicious" - Healthy - Homemade

Recipe: Easy Protein Pancakes

September 9, 2015

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:

Protein pancakes

Protein pancakes



Ingredients
:
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

Directions
:

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.

After cooking pancakes, top with sliced fruits — I like adding strawberries and blueberries. I’ve also tried different variations of it. Below is one I had using chocolate-flavored protein powder.

Chocolate pancakes

Chocolate pancakes

I also tried adding blueberries to the batter — this made it a little too liquid-ey so it was hard to flip…think I may stick with just topping it with blueberries next time, but since I had the picture of a failed attempt:

Blueberry batter pancakes

Blueberry batter pancakes

Let me know if you try, especially if you tried a different variation of this! My friend at All Sear, another great cooking blog, tried out my pancakes, adjusting the portions a bit for a guy and wrote more about the nutritional value as well, so if you want to check that out, click here


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FOOD - "The Delicious" - Healthy - Homemade - Recipes - Seafood

Recipe: Seared scallops with vegetables

September 4, 2015

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!

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.

2) Cook it in very hot oil.The first problem with scallops occurs before you even buy them.* Many scallops are treated with sodium tripolyphosphate (STP), a chemical that, while perfectly safe to consume, wreaks havoc on your ability to achieve a proper sear. In the industry, chemically treated scallops are called wet scallops, and they’re the norm in most supermarkets, including the one where I’d bought mine.

3) Get friendly with salt.

I went to Whole Foods to buy one, and pricier is right — they were $25 per pound but found worth paying more for. Here’s how I made mine.

First I let them sit in paper towels to absorb any excess moisture. I pressed another paper towel on top to absorb maximum water (I let it sit for about 20 minutes).

Prepping scallops on paper towels with seasoning

Prepping scallops on paper towels with seasoning

I then seasoned it with salt, pepper, and a pinch of garlic salt and let it sit for a few minutes more.

Next, I added canola oil to a frying pan over high heat and let it sit for a minute so it’s really hot.

Cooking the scallops

Cooking the scallops


Next, I placed each scallop in the pan and let it fry for a few minutes until the bottom is slightly brown. Don’t keep turning it to check the scallop — let it fry for a good few minutes before you turn it over.
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When it’s ready, turn it over and sear the other side.

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Et voila. That’s it. It was the first time I’ve ever seared scallops and they turned out delicious if you just prep it right.

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I baked asparagus (just put fresh stems with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic salt) until slightly browned. I found it’s the best way to serve them so it’s not soggy. I also separately cooked corn over the stove with butter, and added salt, pepper, cayenne, and some Italian seasoning. You can serve it whatever you want, of course — this is just the way I chose to do it to keep it less heavy and it tasted delicious together. Anyone going to try? Make sure to tag me so I can see your creation :).

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American - FOOD - "The Delicious" - Healthy - Vegan - Vegetarian

Veestro: Plant-based meals delivered to your door

September 3, 2015

[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’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.

But crash-nutrition lesson aside, I was mostly curious about the taste of their meals. After eating their meals for a week I found a few things consistently true: they didn’t skimp on flavors, they use fresh ingredients that you can actually read without a dictionary, and (true to their word) no preservatives. You also have a few options on how to prepare them — some you could heat on the stove top or microwave, some you had to bake but this gave some flexibility to bring it to work. Plus, there was a lot of variety in cuisine so it didn’t get boring. I was really starting to look forward to my meals every day.

Some of my favorites
:
Red Curry with Organic Tofu and Veggies (the curry paste made with red chili pepper, garlic, lemongrass, shallot, thai ginger; it also had organic carrots, califlower, broccoli, organic brown rice, coconut milk, ginger, coriander, paprika)

Red curry tofu

Red curry tofu

Veggie Empanadas (made with organic pastry flour, filled with potatoes, carrots, onions, and green peas, and a chichi sauce made with organic parsley, cilantro, garlic, oregano, and lemon juice — so delicious):

Veggie empanadas

Veggie empanadas


Veggie empanadas

Veggie empanadas

Veggie Burger Patty (made with braised tempeh, organic black beans, mushrooms, carrots, zucchini, and corn). I added some cheese, kale, and sriracha ketchup to this and it was so filling and delicious.

Veggie patty

Veggie patty


Here’s some more pics of the meals — even their juices are not to be missed.
Meals from Veestro!

Meals from Veestro!

From top (left to right): Oatmeal breakfast, Risotto with butternut squash and kale, Soba noodles with peanut sauce, Three layer scramble with tofu, Thai Chick’N stew, Tuscan calzone, Eggplant Casserole, and Savory Croquettes with veggie hash.

My only small gripe was that not all the directions are that detailed on how to prepare the food (I ended up cooking some over heated olive oil, but some that come with sauces could have been more descriptive) — then again, this can help you get creative with the dishes, like I did in some cases. Other than that, the only real problem you’ll run into is making room in your freezer. Also, if you’re grabbing the meals to go (especially to work where you won’t have a stove available a lot of times), make sure it’s one that can be heated up in the microwave.

Want to try it yourself? Visit veestro.com, and use coupon code VEESTROFEAST to get 20% off your entire order through Sept 30th!!


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