Wednesday, April 30, 2014

GLOSSYBOX - April 2014

It’s GLOSSYBOX time!

Interestingly enough, all products in this month’s box are made in the USA! Yay!

Aqua Spa Relax Body Crème
A thick, lush cream that I had to rub deeply into my skin. Once applied, it did seep into the skin leaving it moisturized without a greasy film. Although I like the scent of lavender, it does remind me of my great-granny! Because of the granny association I don’t really purchase lavender scented products, but this is a beautifully fragranced blend of lavender and chamomile and I found the overall effect very soothing.

LaSplash Ombre a Paup Eyeshadow Sealer/Base
This product, according to the manufacturer, protects against smudges, intensifies color, and allows for “flawless 12-hour wear.” I’m not particularly fond of eye shadow bases, but I did test it out. I found the product to be quite tacky on first application. You need to wait at least 30 seconds to 1 minute before applying eye shadow. Once applied, the eye shadow did stay put, it lasted the rest of the day, and it intensified the color.  So I suppose the claims are true!

Ciaté Paint Pots in Espadrilles - Full Size
This is a brand that I have conciously avoided since the whole beauty blogger debacle two years ago when they sent threatening letters to several beauty bloggers. They soon realized their mistake and tried to gloss over the situation, but the damage was done. If I get anything from this company in a beauty sample box that is something I cannot control, but otherwise I simply refuse to purchase any of their products. There are plenty of companies out there that are worthy of my money - but Ciaté with their bad PR isn't one of them.

Read more about the incident here Fishy Happenings in the Beauty Industry and here Nail Polish Brand Steps on Bloggers Toes

Bellapierre Cosmetics Super Gloss in Vanilla Pink
This lip gloss has jojoba, avocado, vitamin E and sunflower waxes in it. Something about the pleasant scent is familiar… Maybe a little like coco butter? Regardless, it is a lovely color, with a good texture that isn’t too thick.

Caldrea Coconut Fig Leaf Body Wash
This aromatherapeutic body wash has a coconut base with a hint of fig. Not too strong for non-coconut lovers, like me. If a coconut scent is mild and/or blended with another fragrance, it can be lovely. But if it’s too strong, it can overpower everything else. I tested this body wash by using it to remove dried up mascara on my wrist – it clearly began to dissolve the mascara and it worked beautifully. Now, while I don’t recommend this product for makeup removal, if it can remove mascara with a minimum of buffing I have no doubt that it would leave a body squeaky clean. Another plus – I did some research on this company and they are committed to sourcing quality ingredients that are obtained responsibly, for their products. In fact, the more I read about them the more I am interested in trying out their other products like household cleaners. Win-win.

Overall I think that GLOSSYBOX this month contained a good balance of products – makeup prep, makeup, body and nails.

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- The Sassi Wench.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

An Effortless Easter Table

My Easter Table
I wanted to have a nice Easter lunch this year but with the minimum of fuss, so I did something that I usually don't do.  Instead of making it all from scratch, I ordered a ham from Honey Baked Ham and for dessert, a 7-Layer Delight Cake from the famous bakery Caroline's Cakes [as seen on TV - Oprah and The Food Network].

All I had to do was make some sides, set the table and pour the wine.
German Potato Salad
My Mom made her wonderful German potato salad, which is made with vinegar, oil, onion and bacon, but no mayonnaise. 

I made some oven roasted carrots and Brussels sprouts, simply sliced and diced, tossed with a seasoning blend and drizzled in olive oil.  

I also tried some Sweet Potatoes Soufflé  from Honey Baked Ham, but I don't recommend this dish.  Unfortunately, I didn't read the ingredients before I purchased it - something which I normally always do but I was in a rush that day.  Big mistake.  It was overly sweet and loaded with hydrogenated oil - something that should be avoided at all costs.  We all had a taste of it but none of us cared for it and it ended up in the trash. 

As for the ham itself - it was absolutely delicious.  Served at room temperature, it was perfectly cooked with just the right amount of sweet sugary crunch.  I think that this may become a new Easter tradition for us!
Brie Cheese with a Caramel Pecan Topping
I picked up some Brie cheese from Wegmans, and topped it with their Caramel Pecan Topping.  Serve this with Carr's Whole Wheat Crackers and it's superb.
Easter Table Chick
I dressed the table with pink roses in Donna Karan Lenox Porcelain Touch Vases and added 
Donna Karan Lenox Porcelain Touch Collection votive candles, gifts of chocolate Easter Eggs, sugared almonds in a tri-bowl dish, and decorative little yellow feather chicks "hatching" out of their eggs. 
Caroline's Cakes famous 7-Layer Delight Cake
For dessert, the pièce de résistance was the 7-Layer Delight Cake, which is 7 layers of moist yellow cake layered with fudge and chocolate icing and iced with their Southern Fudge Icing.  This bakery has been on my radar for years, and I don't know why it took me so long to order a cake from them.  The cake arrives frozen.  Simply thaw out the cake around three hours before consumption so that is at room temperature.  I added the few little Cadbury's Mini Eggs on top of the cake.

Ok, so it wasn't exactly effortless, but it definitely was with the minimum of effort compared to some of the Easter lunches that I have prepared in the past.  And clean-up was a breeze!

Happy Easter!

- The Sassi Wench