Monday, 12 December 2011

Holiday Nails (Post #4): Candy Striper!

Hey all,
Thought I'd do another quick holiday nails post, while there's still time!
I haven't yet shown you guys my #1 favourite holiday polish of all time, which makes me so sad!
I got it last year from OPI's holiday collection and I wish I could wear it every single day of the year but I can't because it just screams Christmas and holidays and festiveness! :) Despite that, it's still my very favourite nail polish that I own. It will be my next "Holiday Nails" post. Pinky Swear.
In the meantime, keep on guessing and enjoy this post.
I really enjoy how this look came out, I think it looked so festive and cute.

A deep red nail with a candy cane striped accent nail! 

I used the "Salon Effects" nail polish strips in "Peppermint Twist" for the accent nail. It's part of their limited edition Christmas designs. I knew I had to try this design when I saw it. I love these "Salon Effects" design sticker thingys. They're a little pricey but you get a lot of strips with it and they come in the best designs. The look really good, my only complaint is that these do not nearly last 10 days. I wish they would strengthen whatever adhesive they use for the back of these.

 The Essie nail polish is "Bordeaux" which is actually a very deep red with no shimmer. But I wanted this to be more of an apple red, to match the red in the striped nail. So I was a light on the polish, applying only one coat and touching up in certain placed that needed it.

Excuse my tiny, short nails. A couple started breaking
recently so I had to cut them all down.
I was on my way out to my aunt's baking party (which you will probably see a post on) when I shot these so try not to mind the lighting or the kinda crappy nail job. It's the thought that counts, right? 

Anyway, do you guys like my shirt? Lol I say this as a joke all the time and I'm sure everyone is probably irritated by it now. I just think it's funny and I love this t-shirt. Unfortunately, my very brown, Caribbean family did not get it. Trying to explain it to them made for some good laughs though.

In case you can't read backwards, it says:
"Come at me bro"

Thanks for reading! Bye guys! 
-Tash <3

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Holiday Gift Guide 2011!

Hello everyone,
Unless my 9385589837 other posts about it haven't made it obvious, it is the holiday season!
Which most likely means you're going to spend some time shopping for gifts, which to be honest is such a pain the ass. So, if you're looking for some ideas for what to get the woman in your life, this might be a good place to start :)
I figure I'll sort the items by store or brand that way they're easy to find when you're out shopping.

Lush has a great selection of pre-wrapped gifts and their Christmas selection has so much variety. If you aren't familiar with Lush already, they make bath products like body wash, soap, shampoo etc. but they also make some really amazing bath stuff like bath bombs (balls of powder product that fizz and make your bath water silky) and bath melts (melt in your bath water super creamy) and bubble bars (make huge bubbles in your tub and makes your water silky).
 They have wrapped Christmas gifts at every single price point which is a nice plus so if none of the ones I link (ones I've tried or like the best) suit you, go to their website and you can find exactly what you want.

Christmas Tweets: $29.95

Courtesy of

This gift comes with a great selection of bath bombs, soaps, creams and bubble bars. It's a great price to try out a lot of Lush bestsellers and some limited xmas stuff too.

Christmas Candy Box: $45.95

Courtesy of

I got this box as a gift last year, but apparently they completely changed what's in it this year! Also, it was $10 cheaper when I asked for it last year. However, this year's box is just as good, filled with a lot of Lush goodies you could fall in love with.

Comforter Bubble Bar: $9.95
Courtesy of
A bestselling bubble bar that I have repurchased many, many times. It's big enough to use two or even three times. It smells like candy and bubblegum and sweetness. It makes your bathwater pink and silky with huge bubbles. Just break some off and crumble under the tap while filling the tub! :)

The Melting Snowman Bath Melt- $5.95

Courtesy of
I love this little guy! He smells fresh and clean, slightly like vanilla. It melts in your bath and makes the water creamy and so soothing. Plus he's so cute! But hurry, this guy is limited edition for just this year.

Cinders Bath Bomb- $4.95
Courtesy of

This smells like fresh citrus, very clean and bright. My boyfriend actually loves this one. It's great for any guy who plays sports and soaks in a tub to relax injured or tight muscles. There's nothing girly about the scent and it makes the bath much more moisturizing for his skin. Think about it ladies.

If the girl you're shopping for is a beauty junkie like me, pay real close attention to this section- everything will be a hit with her.
*Note: all prices are in US because I can't be bothered to figure out the exchange rate. Sorry loves!

NARS- Yorokobi Super Orgasm Set: $39

Courtesy of

Filled with NARS best sellers all in their famous shade "Orgasm" -- any beauty lover would be overjoyed to get a blush, nail polish,  and lip gloss in this dazzling peachy pink shade with gold shimmer.

Urban Decay- Maripose Palette- $39

Courtesy of

Urban Decay quality and pigmentation is the absolute best and this palette comes with 10 beautiful shades that can make a gorgeous neutral look, a smokey evening look or a bright, colourful summer time look. It's so versatile and useful, I love mine. Any makeup junkie would really enjoy this.

Urban Decay- Naked Palette: $48

Courtesy of

The absolute blockbuster, bestseller from Urban Decay. This palette went out of stock for almost a full year constantly because of the high demand. And while I know $48 is pricey- if  you're looking for a more luxurious gift, this is ABSOLUTELY worth the money! I love mine and use it regularly.
*I know Naked2, the second naked palette has already come out. But unfortunately it doesn't hit Canadia Sephora's until late January. You could order online though. I still prefer the original one, better colours, better variety.

Sephora- LashStash: $45

Courtesy of

This boxed kit is great because you get to try out so many different mascaras for a great price. It also comes with a makeup remover and 2 full-size products. Sephora also has boxed kits like this for lip products and bestseller items.

Sephora- Collector's Edition Fragrance Sampler for Her: $75

Courtesy of

I know that $75 is kinda "ouch" on the wallet area but this is a great value. This kit comes with 10 fragrance samples (that come in mini versions of the actual bottles!) and it also comes with a coupon to go back to Sephora and get whichever of the 10 perfumes you liked the best! A great idea for someone looking for their perfect scent.

Your girl isn't into makeup?
Try getting her some gourmet tea! Tea makes a great gift that is personal and unexpected. Teavana and Teaopia are both great places you can go to get gourmet teas and great tea making accessories.

Not a fan of tea?
Maybe she's into fashion. Try Etsy, It's an online store and everything they sell is a one-of-a-kind piece. Meaning you can tell your girl, no one else will ever have something exactly like it. And it's really afforadable with great selection of clothes, accessories, housewares and cool vintage pieces.

I hope this gift guide was helpful for someone out there!
I will have another baking post coming up soon on my red velvet cookies with cream cheese filling. They are delicious and really simple to make. AND they are even vegetarian, so if you are or know a vegetarian this will be a great cookie recipe to share. :)

Thanks for reading!
-Tash <3

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Baking Corner: Santa Hat Chocolate Cupcakes

Yaaay for my first baking post!! :)
Up front disclaimer: I am not professional, or even kinda good at baking. I just enjoy eating sweet deliciousness and sometimes I have to bake it myself if I want it. But I'd like to share (what I call) accomplishments.

I saw this photo on a website and I was inspired to remake it. I love this, it's so pretty and festive, they look like little Santa Claus hats! I had no recipe, just the picture so I did the best I could and I adapted it into cupcakes to make it simpler. If you were interested in how I did it, here it is:

For the cupcakes, I just went lazy-style and used a box mix. I think I used the Betty Crocker "chocolate fudge" kind. Honestly, it really doesn't matter, you could use whatever you wanted. I just used chocolate to recreate the picture as closely as possible.

That small child you see in the background. Yes, him.
That is my brother, Kevin (in case you were wondering).
He helped make these!

 After I put the cupcakes in the oven, I washed and cut the tops off all the strawberries I needed. I put those aside and then I made the a cream cheese frosting.
This is by far my favourite cream cheese recipe:

4 ounces (113 grams) cream cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons (25 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (175 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted
In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. 
Add the butter and beat until incorporated and smooth. 
Add the vanilla extract and confectioners’ sugar and beat until fluffy (2-3 minutes). 
Pipe or spread the frosting on the cupcakes.
When the cupcakes come out, and I have learned this lesson many times, patience is a virtue. I always ice the frikken cupcakes too early and they get all melty and gross. Use a cooling rack if you have one and move them away from the oven.Wait until the cupcakes are completely cool before you spread a layer or two of icing on top. 

Once they're iced pop one strawberry, upside down, on the top of every cupcake. Then you'll need a piping bag to put the cute little icing-hat-tops on. DO NOT FRET, you do not have to go out and buy one. I will tell you how to make them!

How to make a piping bag:
Fold the tops of the bad over and spoon any remaining icing into the bottom of the baggie. 
Push all the icing to one of the bottom corners then twist the top until it's tightly closed. 
Use a pair of scissors and cut of that bottom corner.
*Important: begin with a small hole because while you can always make the hole bigger, you can't really make it smaller. So if you cut it too big to start with, you just kinda screwed.
Now hold the bag around the middle where the bulk of the icing is, apply even pressure and pipe away :)

 Last but not least, pipe a little icing on the tips of the strawberries to make the top of your "santa hat" and you are done! 

Overall: good cupcakes, AMAZING frosting. And strawberries are always a nice touch.
*Fair warning: If you're making these for a party or ahead of time- leave the strawberries of until last minute. After a while, the strawberries can leak red juice onto the icing, so make sure not to put the strawberries on too early or it will make the cupcakes soggy.

Just a Few Things...
  • I need a better name for my baking posts. I don't really like "Baking Corner" ... Any suggestions?
  • There is a giveaway happening by a great Youtuber names Erica!! You guys should subscribe, check her out and enter! Here's the link to the giveaway video:
  • I quite like baking, especially when I have time on Christmas break.
  • I am excited to make Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes at my Aunty Radica's baking party tomorrow.
  • I'm also making "Red Velvet Thumbprint cookies" tomorrow. Blog post on those?
  • I'm currently watching Storage Wars. This show is addictive. 

Thanks for reading!
-Tash <3 

Monday, 5 December 2011

Luxebox Review!

 Hello my lovely readers,
As promised, here is a blog dedicated to Luxebox for you all. Trust me, keep reading, it's an amazing opportunity!
If you don't know what Luxebox is, then you've been missing out!
Luxebox is a service by the company Loosebutton and when you sign up, they send a box filled with beauty and skincare samples to your door, every month!
The box is beautifully packaged and customized to you (which we'll get to later) and usually there are 4-5 deluxe sample or travel sized items for you to try.
You can just get it for one month just to try, or pay for a 3 month period. Or you can do it the way I do it, which is to pay month by month (I have had about 4 Luxeboxes at this point) and you have the option to cancel your subscription whenever you like.
It costs $12 a month, which in my opinon is SO worth it for what you get, and shipping is free, which is a nice plus.
If I have already piqued your interest and you want to sign up, go to their website!

To be honest, I can't rave enough about this service- I absolutely love it! It's like getting a birthday present every month. And they never cheap out on products or the packaging. I always get a very decent size of everything and they include brands that you would actually want to try as well. And it's just packaged so beautifully I can't bring myself to throw out the boxes. They're beginning to pile up in my bedroom...

Speaking of packaging, and you'll have to forgive mine since I've already ripped into it, your Luxebox comes with a sticker on the wrapping with your name on it! Wrapped up in tissue paper inside a open-faced box that slides out of another box.

The cute pattern of Loosebutton's logo on the inside the box!

These are few shots of my November Luxebox (I am excitedly awaiting my December version!) It was full of wonderful items, I fell in love with a few and plan to purchase the full sizes. Every Luxebox also comes with a card from the company, describing the items you got, including what the full size of that item costs. 

 Items included in my November Luxebox: 
  • Prada Candy fragrance sample- Haven`t tried yet. I like to save these little sample perfumes for travelling. If it smells like the lotion (which I would assume it would, they're the same scent, duh) then I will like it.
  • Prada Candy Body Lotion- I`m terrible at describing scents but I can try. It smells sweet but not floral. More like a vanilla sweetness. It's also quite musky. I like it.
  • Morroccanoil Styling Cream- LOVE. So great, makes my hair manageable and smooth. Just love it for dealing with my thick hair and flyaways. Will repurchase
  • Benefit Moisture Prep Toning Lotion- More on this below, but LOVE and will repurchase.
  • Pur Minerals Neutralizing foundation primer- More on this below but also LOVE and will repurchase.
  • Teaopia Cactus Fig Tea Kit- unfortunately haven`t had the time to try it yet. Must do that soon.
  • Olay Regenerist face cream- Haven`t tried yet.

Woo, that was a lot to list. A lot of my Luxeboxes come with nice little bonuses. For example, the Prada fragrance sample, Olay face cream and Teaopia brewing kit were all bonuses in my box this month! One month I got a full sized China Glaze Crackle nail polish and another month there was a Hershey`s Kiss in my box. These little surprises are so fun and cute :)

Also I`d like to note the sizes. That Morroccanoil Styling Cream is HUGE, I won`t use it up for a long time. Last month I got the Morroccanoil Hair Treatment in my box, and I haven`t even used a quarter of the bottle since then. I am particularly happy about this because tiny little samples, that come in plastic packets don`t truly give you the opportunity to get a feeling for the product and decide whether or not you like it. These sizes last quite a long time and give you an opportunity to really get to know the product. Morroccanoil was a brand I'd been dying to try, but never did, as it was rather pricey. Luxebox has given me the opportunity to try two different things from the line. 

The Moisture Prep Toning Lotion is from Benefit Cosmetics new skincare line. Note: the bottle is empty because I couldn`t wait to blog and used it all up! I love this! It`s a toning lotion that you use on your face before moisturizer. It`s not like cleansing toners, that sting- it has a cool feeling. It is a water product but it has an almost gel-like consistency. It feels great and it really helps your moisturizer smooth on without pulling at your skin. I used this all November and I feel like it has brightened my complexion considerably. And quickly, I really love the packaging. The glass bottle it came in is beautiful, I will have to find something to use it for. I am definitely going to purchase the full size.

This is a great primer. It is smooth and creamy. A little goes a long way. Even with this small bottle, two pumps does my entire face, so it will take me a while to use this up. It helps foundation to smooth on and blend out over your skin so easily. The only downside is that it smells a little strange. The scent is not overpowering and it goes away in a minute (you don`t smell it one your face all day). But I find that most primers smell a little strange. Anyone else?

Candle burning in background: Slatkin&Co. Homemade Cookies
From Bath and Body Works. Best scented candle ever.
I can't wait to try this! I love tea :)

So long story short:
If it's not obvious, I love Luxebox so much! I think it's a great service at a very reasonable price. And if you love beauty as much as I do, Luxebox gives you a great opportunity to try out a wide array of brands that you might not otherwise be able to afford. Think about it like this. It's hard to go in and spend a lot of money on a product that you might not like. Luxebox helps eliminate some of the guesswork. 
This blog post sounds like a huge commercial for Luxebox but that's only because I really do love the service and everything it stands for. And if you haven't tried it yet, I suggest you try it, if only for a month.
Here's the link again, in case this blog post has convinced you.

 The products you get are great quality and worth much more than you pay. It'll be the best $12 you ever spent.

Just a Few Things...
  • This post was a lot more work that I initially thought it would be. Much like blogging in general is a lot more work that I thought it would be.
  • My dog just loves sitting on my feet. He weights like 80 lbs. at least. My feet are always numb.
  • God I love this "Homemade Cookies" candle from Bath and Body Works. So much. I have to pick up some more soon.
  • Slept past noon today since I'm off school finally. Makes me so happy. 
  • Found my red glitter from MAC. Holiday look soon?? :)

Thanks for reading!
-Tash <3