My Everyday Makeup

So I know that this blog usually focuses on my love for making sweet treats and cocktails, but today I wanted to pause the baking brain and talk about what I've been loving in the cosmetics department lately. So if you aren't interested in some old fashioned product reviews, you can probably just close out this blog window and check back next week.

Although I don't talk about it much here, cosmetics are some of my favorite things to try out and mess around with. I follow a lot of beauty blogs and love seeing what normal people are playing around with and keep in their everyday beauty bag. And since this blog is part recipe/part my life, I wanted to spend today talking about some of my favorite things that I've been using lately. Below I'll talk about some favorite recent purchases, and then list what my normal makeup routine is looking like right now. If you're not interested in cosmetics, thanks for bearing with me :)

I'll start by talking about some of the brand new things that I've added to my everyday makeup arsenal in recent weeks. Most of these can be purchased at Target or the drugstore, which is pretty new for me. I'm usually a Sephora type of girl, but these are all pretty affordable options.

I had been searching for a nude, my-shade-but-better lipstick for a little while now that was long lasting, not matte or uncomfortable to wear, and not too expensive and I found all of that in the Lasting Finish by Kate Nude Collection lipsticks. Easy to pick up at the drugstore or Target, it's a lovely formula and a great color for me. I use the shade 47, which is one of the darker shades in the collection.

Bronzer has always been something that made me nervous. So many options, so many tones and shades, so many possibilities to be too orange and glittery. But I've watched enough beauty bloggers use bronzer in a way that looks lovely on the face and really adds dimension and warmth so I wanted to give it a try. I picked up this Hourglass Ambient Luminous Bronze powder in Light and I really love it. I found a mini travel size (which is so tiny and cute) in the check out line.

I had been using a tinted moisturizer for most of the summer, but I wanted to pick up something that would provide a little more coverage and the L'Oreal True Match Lumi Cushion really does the trick for me. The idea of a cushion foundation was really interesting to me and I like that it's really buildable and doesn't have too matte of a finish, or too glowy. I will say that I don't need a full coverage foundation so if you did, I would imagine you would want something different. I use the shade W2 (light ivory).

Doing my brows is something I rarely leave the house without doing. I have pretty thick brows naturally (because I barely touched them during the 10+ year period I had bangs), so I like to just fill in any gaps and define the shape of them. When I picked up the foundation and lipstick, I also grabbed the L'Oreal Brow Stylist Definer Pencil in the shade Dark Brunette and I'm so happy with it. A bit of an adjustment since I was previously just using a powder, but once I got the hang of it I love it. The pencil has a tiny little nib and the other end is a great spoolie brush on the other end.

I'm always on the look out to try new dry shampoos because I use them A LOT. This tiny Amika: Perk Up Dry Shampoo was just too cute and pretty to pass up. I'm not crazy about the scent, but it goes away quickly and seems to work pretty well!

Here's a look at everything I throw on my face on an average morning! Most of the products here are things I've been using for a long time, except for the new things that I spoke about above, and really work for my needs, skin tone, and desired finish. I also should mention that my skin ranges from combination for most of the year with drier spots popping up in the winter.

Face: The Body Shop Seaweed Mattifying Moisture Lotion with SPF 15, Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Captivating, Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer in Light Neutral and No7 Perfect Light Loose Powder in Translucent.

Eyes: Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion, Urban Decay Shadow Box, Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler (the best eyelash curler!), Lashblast Volume Mascara in blackest black, and Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara (shown in first photo).

Lips: MAC Lip Pencil in Whirl and Makeup Monster Liquid Lipstick in Sedona (shown in first photo).

Brushes: All my brushes are Sonia Kashuk for Target brushes, except for my powder brush, which is a really old Mary Kay brush that I believe came from a set. Of the Sonia Kashuk brushes, I believe I own the Medium Angled Multipurpose Brush, the Large Domed Eyeshadow Brush, and the Small Eyeshadow Brush.


Summer Bucket List Review

Since Labor Day was last weekend, I thought I would sit down and write a little bit about this summer and what I knocked off my Summer Bucket List, which can be found here!

Even now that I'm an adult, summer feels special to me. It's a time to take it a little easier, make time for relaxing, make plans with friends and family, and take time for some self care. Maybe it's because I work at a college where summers are a lot less hectic and busy, or maybe it's just because I try really hard to take advantage of the warm weather but summer continues to be very special to me. And this summer was pretty darn special. I almost crossed off everything on my bucket list (!!!) so I wanted to share some of those things with you all today.

1. Go Camping: This was an easy one since G and I already had our trip to Central and Western New York to visit his family and friends already planned out when I made this Bucket List. But camping is one of my favorite things that I don't do often enough. We spent two nights camping during that trip and got to do all the camping necessities: put up our tent, cooked over a fire, made s'mores (which was also #6 on the Bucket List), woke up smelling like campfire, all the lovely things. I shared more about our trip here.

2. Make Popsicles: Well, you all know I conquered this one! At the beginning of the summer I purchased this popsicle maker and I love it. Easy to use, easy to clean. If you missed it, I shared these Peaches and Cream Breakfast Popsicles and Funfetti Cake Batter Popsicles.

3. Drink More Water: Even though I still feel like I have a long way to go with this one, I do feel like I've been drinking more water daily. I even bought two new water bottles! More than keeping up with drinking more water, I can actually notice a difference in my body and brain when I'm dehydrated, which wasn't something I could even notice before. Crazy right? Yeah, I think I'm just used to functioning in a dehydrated state so it's nice to quench that.

4. Take More Photos With My Instax: I feel like I made some headway on this one too! Though I still feel like I carry this camera around wayyyy too much for how few photos I have, I do have some great memories captured on film that I really adore. Can't wait to keep using this into the Fall.

5. Purge My House: I did a small purge in the middle of the summer, but I'm excited to really go through my house with an iron fist in the next couple of months. So I feel like I kind of checked this box, but excited to really see a significant difference in my house soon.

6. Make S'more: Happy to say we took care of this during our camping trip and I think also down the shore. Check out #1. 

7. Dress Up More: I feel a little like I should explain that for me, this goal didn't mean wearing anything specific. I wasn't looking to wear more dresses or skirts or have my hair done more. It's more that I own a good amount of clothes and I tend to get in ruts with them. Add to that the fact that it's been VERY hot and humid this summer and I feel like I can't be bothered putting on decent makeup or wearing anything more than a airy tank top and flip flops. BUT I made a conscious effort to mix and match my wardrobe, only buy pieces that I really put some thought into and really wanted, and felt good about my outfits and looks most of the summer. Three cheers for feeling good!

8. Find A New Farmer's Market: This actually happened even though I wasn't trying very hard! I had been to a few around me that weren't really doing it for me. Only a few vendors. All selling the same handful of things. But then I stubbed upon a market by G's house in West Philly, which is just lovely! It's not huge, just one side of a park, but a variety of vendors selling meat, vegetables, fruits, honey, and beautiful FLOWERS. Can't wait to go back a few more times.

9. Swim in a Swimming Hole: This is one of my favorite summer memories. While on our trip, we found a small waterfall and got to spend some time splashing around in the water, floating on the donut, and just being happy. While on this trip, we also swam in two pool-like swimming holes as well.

10. Go Ziplining: This is the only thing I didn't even remotely do. We tried to plan this a handful of times, but either our friends weren't available or the weather wasn't cooperating or it was just a bad weekend. Oh well! I'm sure the opportunity will arise someday.

And that's it! I feel like 9 out of 10 isn't too bad! One of the most important things I did this summer was eat more ice cream and frozen treats than I every had in one summer. If you've been following me on Instagram, I'm sure you've seen my addiction, which I don't plan on stopping come Fall. Though I love summer, I must confess I'm looking forward to the change of seasons and the crispness in the air that Fall brings. I'm not rushing it, I'm just excited for the change.


Recipe: Lemon Meringue Donuts

It's been a long time since I've baked anything for you and I'm sorry for that. It's been all cocktails and frozen treats on here for a little while now and though I would have LOVED to have baked you something sweet, I couldn't risk turning my oven on for most of the summer. It just wasn't worth the amount of sweat, which then triggers my allergies to kick in and turns me into a serious Wreck. And that's a Wreck with a capital W.

But between the heat/humidity letting up a bit and the addition of an AC unit in my living room, I was able to spend Sunday morning in the kitchen, which was much needed and extremely relaxing. And the result is lemon meringue donuts, because I enjoy turning desserts into other desserts. (Examples here, here, here. Oh and here.)

These donuts are a fun play on a lemon meringue pie but bite-sized (or maybe more like 3 bites). Lemon spongey cake donuts topped with a super simple meringue topping. A word about meringue: make sure to use an egg separator, or be very careful when separating your egg whites from the yolks. Even a little bit of yolk in there can stop your whites from frothing up and getting to stiff peaks. Believe me, been there done that. 

Lemon Meringue Donuts

Makes 2 dozen donuts

2 cups flour
1/2 cup cake flour
1/2 cup sugar
zest of 2 lemons
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1/4 lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a donut pan by spraying with nonstick cooking spray.

In a small bowl, mix together sugar and lemon zest with a spoon, working them together until the mixture is clumpy and fragrant. This helps release the lemon oils for more lemon flavor. Set aside.

In a large mixing, whisk together flour, cake flour, lemon sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until combined. Cut your half stick of butter into cubes and add to the dry ingredients. Using a pastry blender or my preferred method, your hands, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until mixture is crumbly and sand-like. You'll want tiny pieces of butter throughout the mixture.

In a medium bowl or a measuring cup, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla until frothy. Add sour cream and whisk until combined. Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients and fold it in with a rubber spatula. Before completely combined, add the lemon juice and continue to fold together until mixture is smooth. 

Scrape the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a large tip (or a ziplock bag with the corner snipped off) and pipe the batter evenly among the wells of the greased pan. Before placing into the oven, lightly tap the donut pan on a flat countertop to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then let cool completely on a cooling rack. 

Lemon Meringue Donut via Unusually Lovely

Meringue Frosting

Makes more than enough for these donuts

3 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar
brûlée torch (optional, but recommended)

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until very foamy and white in color. Begin slowly adding sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, scrape meringue into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Once donuts have completely cooled, pipe meringue onto the tops of each donut. Use a brûlée torch to toast the meringue and get that traditional toasted look.

Donuts should be enjoyed within the day or two. 


Recipe: Banana Pineapple Daiquiri

Just in time for the end of summer, we're making daiquiris in pineapple cups and drinking them in the afternoon post-beach day. Preferably in a hammock if you have one. As much as I'm kind of over the intense humidity and 98 degree days, I know I'll be wishing for summer in only a few months. So I wanted to make you a drink that's acceptable when you're sticky from sweat and have sand still behind your toes, but also can easily throw together when it's snowing and you need a little tropical refresher. 

If you've checked out my cocktail recipes before, you know I'm not a complicated cocktail mixologist or anything. I'm here to show you how to throw a bunch of things in a glass (or blender), give it a mix and get to relaxing. In my opinion, booze should be used for celebrating or destressing, so we need to get to the end result quick!

Banana Pineapple Daiquiri

Makes two drinks (or one pineapple cup)

2 bananas, peeled and frozen
3/4 cup pineapple (or two large pieces), frozen
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 lime, juiced
4 oz white rum (optional)

Pineapple Cup: To serve this drink in a pineapple cup, you'll need a pineapple and a pineapple corer. I have this one on Amazon and never had a problem with it. Place the corer centered over the core of the pineapple and twist the corer until you get near the bottom (about an inch or so from the bottom to be safe. If you twist too far down, you'll puncture a hole in the skin of the pineapple and you'll ruin your cup). Once you're near the bottom, twist the opposite way and pull the pineapple slices out of the skin. It makes a perfect cup and all the fruit is sliced. Store the fruit in the refrigerator or freezer. Then use a pairing knife to remove the core, which is by far the most annoying part. I just kind of hack at it until most of it is gone. Very professional. 

Just FYI, I learned about this method from A Beautiful Mess last year. It's very fun for parties.

Daiquiri: If you are using a blender, add all the ingredients into a blender and blend until bananas and pineapple are fully pureed and mixture is similar to a smoothie. You might need to stop blending and push frozen fruit down towards the blade with a spoon if blender is having trouble. Pour into two glasses or the whole thing into your pineapple cup!

If you want to use a food processor, add the frozen pineapple, frozen bananas, and about 1/3 of the coconut milk into the processor initially. Pulse until the fruit is pureed and then add the rest of the liquids and pulse until combined. I found that if I added all the liquids at once, it was hard to get the fruit as pureed as desired. Pour into two glasses or your pineapple cup!

This also makes a really refreshing smoothie, just leave out the rum!

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Recipe: Peanut Butter and Fig Toast

If I had to pick a favorite all time food, I think it would have to be toast. I love ice cream, love pizza, love breakfast sandwiches, most Mexican food, and cheese. But I don't think I could live without toast. I eat it standing in my kitchen when I don't have enough time for real breakfast, I eat it for lunch topped with a smashed avocado and a lot of salt and pepper. And sometimes, when it's 100 degrees outside or I'm having a particularly tired night and I can't be bothered making real food, I eat it for dinner.

The trick, I've decided, is finding different toppings that match whatever you're crazing. Want something salty? Avocado S&P Toast. Something sweet? Cinnamon Sugar Toast. Something like dinner but a lot less effort? Mozzarella and Sliced Tomatoes. It's 3AM and you need food now? Basically Salted Buttered Toast. And when you need something that's like dessert AND breakfast? Make Peanut Butter and Fig Toast topped with Maple Syrup.

Peanut Butter and Fig Toast

1 serving

2 pieces of hearty bread
2-3 figs
peanut butter
maple syrup

I probably don't need to tell you how to make toast, but I'll attempt to. Toast bread until lightly browned, outside toasted but the inside is still soft. While still hot, spread generous amounts of (preferably homemade or freshly ground) peanut butter onto the toast. We don't skimp on the peanut butter! We aren't animals. Cut figs in half and place on top of peanut butter. Drizzle with maple syrup and enjoy with iced coffee.

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