Friday, January 30, 2015

I'VE BEEN NOMINATED FOR A LIEBSTER AWARD!

Liebster Award
I was so excited and surprised to be nominated for a Liebster Award by the amazing Laura of She Likes to Shop.  The Liebster award is given by fellow bloggers to new blogs, and it is a great way to learn about new blogs and support one another.  Thanks again Laura and it was so sweet of you to think of me!

The rules of the award are as follows: 
Mention the person who nominated you with a link to their blog
Answer the eleven questions they asked
Nominate eleven further blogs with under 200 followers
Create eleven of your own questions for them to answer
Notify your nominees

This is a great way to spread the word about smaller blogs that have a lot of potential, but may not be as well known!

Here is my Q&A from Laura:


1. What is your favorite part about blogging?
My favorite part about blogging would have to be interacting with other bloggers and my readers.  The blogging community is so supportive and I love hearing other people’s feedback on my posts and just chatting with others who love makeup as much as me.

2. Do you have any pets?
Oh, yes.  I have a three year old Bichon Frise/King Charles Cavalier Spaniel mix named Oliver who will occasionally grace the pages of Brazen Brunette.  He is my dog/child and I love him.

3. What is your favorite eye shadow palette?
Ughhh, I can only choose one?  I find myself reaching for my Stila In The Light palette the most.  It has a great range of neutrals and there is a shadow in there called “Sunset” which has to be one of my favorites of all time.

4. If you could travel anywhere tomorrow, where would you go?
A villa in Santorini, Greece.  Hands down.  Those white buildings with the blue roofs look majestic and I absolutely love Greek food.  (And for those of you Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants fans maybe I'll meet my Kostos there??)

5. What is your favorite dessert?
Last time I was in NYC I visited the infamous vegan restaurant Candle 79 on the Upper East Side and for dessert I had their cannolis.  Ahhh they were divine, I'm still dreaming about them.

6. What is your most recent beauty splurge?
I finally caved and bought the Lorac Pro Palette 2.  It has lived up to every hope and dream I had for it.

7. Are heels or flats your shoe of choice?
I would love to say heels, but I’m definitely a flats kind of girl.  I’m still trying to figure out how to walk in heels.  At age 26 you think I would have the hang of it by now, but I still think I look like a flamingo.

8. What actress would play you in the movie of your life?
I would have to go with Emma Stone.  Awkward, loves life, and has huge eyes? That describes me pretty well haha.  But seriously, I absolutely adore her and would be honored to have someone like that play me in a movie. 

9. What nail polish color are you currently wearing?
I am currently wearing Revlon Colorstay Nail Enamel in Pale Cashmere.  It’s a great neutral shade.

10. Are you an early bird or a night owl?
I am definitely an early bird.  I go to bed around 9:30pm so a night owl I am not, more like Grandma. 

11. What is your all-time favorite makeup brand?
I would have to go with NARS. They are on the pricier side, but their products are such high quality and last forever.  They can just do no wrong in my book and their product launches this year were impeccable.  Have you tried the NARS Audacious Lipsticks?! Run, don’t walk.

I’m so excited to nominate:


Questions for my awesome nominees:
If you could wake up tomorrow morning anywhere in the world where would it be?
Favorite TV couple?
What’s your go to beauty essential for travel?
How did you get into blogging?
What three words would your best friends use to describe you?
Coffee or Tea?
What is your favorite scented candle?
Where did you grow up and where do you live now?
Favorite clothing or beauty brand of the moment?
What is your favorite quote and by whom?
If you won the lottery, what’s the first item you would splurge on?


Thank you so much again for the nomination Laura, girl this was so much fun!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

REVIEW BOSCIA MAKEUP BREAKUP COOL CLEANSING OIL

Boscia cleansing oil review

During my last trip to Sephora I was meandering through the aisle of doom (you know the area with all the travel sized products that our minds tell us we “need”) and I spotted the Boscia Makeup Breakup Cool Cleansing Oil.  Having heard rave reviews for months on other beauty blogs I thought I would give this cleansing oil a go. Best used at night to remove makeup, this deep-cleansing botanical oil blend promises to dissolve makeup and impurities leaving skin refreshed and creating a clear healthy-looking complexion.  This preservative-free solution is safe for those of us who are sensitive and targeted to work best with unruly combination skin.  As a disclaimer, I have dry sensitive skin and sometimes get a little oily in the t-zone area.  This product can be found at Sephora in-stores and online.  The travel size version, featured here, retails for $10.00 for 1.7oz and the full size bottle is $28.00 for 5oz.
Now I have been loyal and true to my beloved Purity face wash for years, but one of my resolutions for 2015 was to up my skincare game.  And what better way to do that than to try a cleansing oil? So read on to find out about what I did and didn’t like about this product...

Instructions (from Sephora.com):
“Dispense one to two pumps onto fingertips and gently massage onto dry skin in a circular motion for 30 to 60 seconds. To further emulsify makeup, add a small amount of warm water and continue to massage on the face to breakdown makeup and impurities. Rinse well with warm water and blot dry.”

Pros:
  • Really did effectively remove my makeup.  I was impressed with how well this removed my eye makeup especially, but I found the key was to gently massage around the eye area, do not rub.  (I learned that the hard way.  I went to town the first time I used and rubbing my dry eyes with oil definitely broke off some eyelashes.  Yeah, that was fun.)
  • Great for sensitive skin.  I was wary because of how sensitive my skin is, but this did not irritate me at all.  Important to note though it does contain menthol, which produces a slight tingle on the skin and smells strongly of mint, which may bother some. 
  • Left no oily film, my skin was left feeling clean and refreshed.
  • Noticed a decrease in blackheads around my chin and nose area after about a week of using. 

Cons:
  • Kind of a high maintenance product.  After placing oil onto dry skin you then have to massage with a little warm water and then wipe off with a washcloth.  I know it’s not rocket science but I kind of prefer just using a simple cream cleanser.
  • You need a lot of product to effectively remove makeup.  The instructions say to dispense one or two pumps, but I needed at least three.  Thus, I can’t imagine this travel size bottle will last me very long.  
  • For how much product you get I think this is a pricey face cleanser.  My favorite Philosophy Purity face wash retails for $24 for 8oz., but that will last me at least six months, probably more. 
  • I didn’t really enjoy the process of massaging this onto my dry skin.  It was not like it smoothly glided around my skin, it was tough to massage it around for 30 seconds and I felt like I was pulling at my skin at times.

Boscia makeup breakup cool cleansing oil

Final Verdict:
I think this is a cool and different product and if you are interested in trying a cleansing oil I’m sure you will like this one.  Especially for those who wear a lot of makeup on a daily basis this would be a great nighttime cleanser for you. Nevertheless, it’s not a need to own product and if you currently use a cleanser you love there’s no need to go rush out buying this. 

I hope you guys enjoyed this post and let me know if you would be interested in more product reviews in the future.  I hope everyone is staying warm up North and surviving the blizzard!  I’ll just be down here in sunny Tampa lounging by the pool…don’t hate me J

Monday, January 26, 2015

BRAZEN BITES – Peach & Blueberry Fruit Crisp

fruit crisp recipe

Growing up my mother would make this recipe all the time, and I can distinctly remember the sweet aroma from the fresh fruit and granola topping wafting through the house.  What sounds more appetizing than cozying up during these cold winter months with a bowl of warm fruit crisp and some vanilla ice cream?  Count me in.  This Peach & Blueberry Fruit Crisp, adapted from my Grandmother’s recipe, is super easy to make and can easily be altered to accommodate vegan and gluten free diets.  It’s also on the healthier side…c’mon all that fruit and rolled oats? Sounds like breakfast to me.  This recipe is very versatile and you can mix & match the fruit, the nuts you use for the topping, along with which spices you choose to add.  I hope you guys enjoy this recipe as much as I have enjoyed eating it, and it would be a great dish to put out for any get together or Super Bowl next weekend. Go Patriots!!


Ingredients:
  • 4 Cups Fresh Fruit (I used peaches and blueberries for this one, but you can use apples or another favorite combination of mine is pear & raspberry)

For Fruit Coating:
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • A Pinch of Nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • 2 tbsp. White Sugar

For Crumble Topping:
  • ½ Cup Butter (For this recipe to keep it vegan I use Earth Balance Spread)
  • 2/3 cup Light Brown Sugar
  • ½ Cup All Purpose Flour (Can substitute Gluten Free flour)
  • 1 Cup Rolled Oats (Can substitute Gluten Free Oats)
  • ½  Cup Nuts (Optional, but Almonds or Walnuts are my favorite)
*Butter and flour to coat and grease baking dish*



Instructions:
  • First things first grease and flour an 8 x 8 inch baking dish.  The easiest way I find to do this is to grab a Ziploc baggie as a makeshift glove for your hand, grab a chunk of butter, and smear it all over the inside of the dish making sure to evenly coat the surfaces.  Next sprinkle in some flour and picking up the baking dish tap it around to make sure the flour covers the inside of the dish sticking to the buttery coating. 
  •  Next peel and slice four cups of fresh fruit placing in a mixing bowl.  Sprinkle the fruit coating on top (Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Salt, Sugar) and with a spoon mix to make sure all fruit is evenly coated.  Place your fresh fruit in the greased baking dish.
  • Place butter, brown sugar, flour and rolled oats in food processor.  (Hold off on adding the nuts).  Pulse granola crumble until well mixed making sure butter is evenly distributed and there are no huge chunks.  Next add nuts and quickly pulse to evenly distribute while still leaving some texture.  The finished product should look something like this…

fall fruit crisp

Once your granola crumble is done sprinkle this over your fresh fruit in the dish and place in a 375 degree oven for 35-40 minutes.  You will know when the fruit crisp is done when the crumble topping has slightly browned.

fruit crumble recipe
peach blueberry crisp

Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes and then enjoy!  This crisp is great on it’s own, either hot or cold, but I love it paired with some Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss Vanilla ice cream.  Seriously this recipe is the bomb.com and as I said, it’s super easy to make and easy to throw together for a gathering or dinner party. Ahhh, I am going to go get myself some right now.   I hope you enjoyed this recipe and leave me a comment below letting me know your favorite go-to dessert during these cold winter months?

cavachon
And this guy thought he was getting some....Sorry buddy.