Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Beauty Review: Miracle Skin Transformer





Every time there is a Sephora nearby, it is almost like Sephora is a powerful magnet and I am a puny metal that gets dragged from meters away. I go in, try on a lip product, and then go to the makeup counter to see what samples they have available. 

During my recent trip to this makeup heaven, there was a representative from Sarah McNamara was at the counter, and she introduced to me the brand's Miracle Skin Transformer. She described it as a "unique" BB cream that does five things in one product, like every other BB cream out there. She insisted that I take a couple of samples home to try out on my own time. Little did she know, I love getting free samples so I was beyond happy to take those babies home. 

After testing it out of myself and wearing it out for a day (a very hot day, in fact), I thought I would whack on a short review for you all!


What It Says It Does
The packaging of the Miracle Skin Transformer says that it hydrates, primes, enhances, mattifies, and protects all in one single step. It has an SPF of 20 and is also full of antioxidants which we all know helps to prevent wrinkles from popping up on our faces. According to Sephora.com, this product is formulated to improve your skin tone, luminosity, and texture, while minimizing the look of pores, fine lines, and imperfections.

What It's Really Like
The Miracle Skin Transformer is unlike most other BB creams in terms of texture. It is more like a mousse than anything else. It provides a light to medium coverage. It has good lasting power after I wore it out in the California sun for a few hours without a primer. You definitely DO NOT need to finish this product off with a dust of powder. I initially found it interested that it claims to both hydrate AND mattify your skin. After using it, I would say that it does a great job of mattifying your skin and not so good of a job at hydrating it. If you have dry skin, do not use this BB cream because it will make your skin seem even more dry. It may be more fitting if you have really oily skin. What is the best way of applying this product? You can either use your fingers or a brush, but you have to work it into your skin quickly because it sets fairly quickly.   





My Final Verdict
It is a decent product, but I personally would not purchase it. I prefer my foundations/BB creams with a slightly dewy finish so I can have the option to go over it with a powder if I feel like it. If you have oily skin, try it out and see if you like it. The Miracle Skin Transformer, in my opinion, would be good for people in school who want a product that has a light coverage and does not need any powder. 


I hope you found this review helpful!!

Lisa xx

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Chocolate Bonanza Cookies




History has been made.

I have created something so amazing that it might as well be adapted into your local high school's history books. 

Using Pioneer Woman's recipe for Chocolate Chocolate White Chocolate Chip Cookies, I made the ultimate chocolate cookies. There is so much chocolate packed into these cookies that I personally call them Monthly Gift Cookies because when Mother Nature brings a woman her monthly gift, these are the cookies she will want to be munching on. Trust me, I know. You can honestly call these cookies anything and it would work: Life of the Party Cookies, Oh My Cookies, Please Your Man Cookies, Kryptonite Cookies, etc. The only that would make these cookies even better is if you could lose weight by just eating them. If only....

Click here to be taken to Pioneer Woman's recipe for her chocolate cookies.


I made a couple of adjustments to her cookies to add a personal touch. 



Firstly, instead of two cups of granulated sugar, I used 1.5 cups. I then added half a cup of brown sugar because I like my cookies to make that sort of hint of molasses taste to them.





Secondly, I dumped in a whole bunch of different types of chocolate. In addition to the traditional semisweet chocolate chips, I added Swiss milk chocolate squares that I picked up from Canada, French white chocolate squares from my trip to Epcot, and, my personal favorite, milk chocolate with bits of cookies and cream. YUUMMMMM!!!!! 

When it comes to what you want in your cookies, I say "Throw in whatever the heck you like." Experiment a little! Personalize them to what you like. I happen to like lots of chocolate! You can put in dried cranberries, Oreos, or even some cayenne for a kick. 





You know how recipes say how long you are suppose to bake something for? I never follow those times. You know how you are suppose to preheat the oven before you actually put the cookies in? I never do that. I play by my own rules. That is how I rebelled as a teenager: not following recipes. Who's bad? I'm bad. 

How do I know when cookies are finished without over baking them? I keep a very close eye on them. My trick is when the very edges of the cookies start to become golden brown and look a tiny bit "wrinkly", I turn off the oven, pull the cookies out, and let them rest on the baking sheets even if the middle of the cookies look unfinished. Because the cookies and baking sheets are still hot once you pull the cookies out, the heat finish the baking process during the resting time. Then, you will have perfect cookies that are completely baked but with soft centers and slightly crunchy edges. 

BAM. There you have the secret to perfect cookies. 




Look at that chocolate just oozing out. Oh. My. Goodness. 

The reason why I love these cookies is that each cookie is different. One may have chunks of milk chocolate and white chocolate while another may have bits of cookies and cream. It adds the element of surprise when eating these cookies. 


If you try out this recipe, please tell me what you think of it! I would love to hear your opinions!

Lisa xx

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Veggie Major: Gardein Barbecue Wings Review

I thought it would be a nifty (mind my 50s language) idea to document what it is like being a vegetarian in college in a segment called The Veggie Major. Clever and fitting name huh? *High-five to myself!!* 

I have been a vegetarian for over three years now. A lot of my friends and family wondered how I would be able to stay a vegetarian in college because it is even difficult for an average non-vegetarian person to adjust to eating in college, attempting to avoid making the wrong food decisions and gaining the infamous "Freshman 15". I believe it is more difficult for vegetarians to make that adjustment because they would have to make sure they receive important every day nutrients like protein without eating meat. 

I kind of struggled a bit at the beginning of my freshman year. I was not taking in all of the nutrients that my body needed with the foods that I was eating from the dining commons. Now that I don't have to depend on dining commons, I can choose my daily menu and incorporate foods that will keep me healthy and provide me with the nutrients that I will need. 


Being a vegetarian, there are some foods that I miss, like BBQ!! I LOVE BBQ!! Smokey, tangy and sweet together in one dish?! Now that's what I'm talking about!! 

When I went to Target and saw that they have VEGAN barbecue "chicken" wings, I have to try it! Gardein Barbecue Wings are make of soy, what, organic grains and veggies. On the packaging, it states that both veggie and meat-lovers will like this product. One serving of 4 wings is only 120 calories, making it a great alternative to chicken if you are watching the amount of calories you intake. Also, a serving gives you 14 grams of protein which is fantastic for vegetarians who need to make sure they are getting their daily dose of protein without meat. The best part about it that I wish they would put somewhere on their packaging in larger words is that they use non-genetically engineered soy and wheat. That's huge!!!! Soy beans are one of the most genetically engineered crops, and for them to use non-GE soy is awesome!




Though it says that it takes only 5 minutes to prepare, it actually took me double that time. It would probably take 5 minutes if you just threw everything together willy-nilly, but I wanted to make it taste good so I was okay with spending a little extra time! 






Though they don't say it on the packaging, another great cooking method would be grilling the wings, especially if you are going to be serving these at a party. The grill marks on the wings would make them look beautiful and would convince your guests that they actually are chicken. 
Who says you can mix art with food?! This coming from the girl who would always pretend she was Picasso and create pieces of art out of her leftovers.





They look like real BBQ chicken wings, but do they taste good and not like cardboard covered in BBQ sauce? 

Texture: These wings very much resemble the texture of real chicken. It is not like biting into a piece of soft tofu which many people think it would be like. The inside has that stringy, pull-apart type of texture that real chicken has. How do they make it like that? SCIENCE, BOYS AND GIRLS! 

Taste: It tastes like chicken! There is a slight difference, but it's not very noticeable when the wings are covered in sauce. The sauce, however, is just alright. It has a very slight smoky flavor, but I wish there was a bit more. It is not as tangy as I expected; therefore I had to have some ketchup on the side. It definitely leans more on the sweet side. I could have sworn I tasted tamarind in the sauce, but apparently there is none. 






Final verdict? It is a great product that is perfect for vegetarians like me who crave BBQ. I will definitely repurchase these. I've tried a couple of products from this line (primarily at The Yard House) and I keep on taking a double take to make sure they are vegetarian. It is incredible that they contain no meat whatsoever! 

Whether you are vegetarian or not, give this product and brand a chance! 

Lisa xx