Tuesday, December 22, 2015

OPI Hello Kitty Collection Swatches

Starry-Eyed for Dear Daniel, Super Cute in Pink, Charmmy & Sugar, Small+Cute=

OPI will be launching a Hello Kitty collection on January 6th. The entire collection consists of twelve colors, plus one special edition shade, Say Hello Kitty. I had not heard about this collection prior to happily stumbling across it at a local beauty supply store a couple of days ago, when I picked up the four shades pictured above. I try not to go crazy for OPI's large nail collections these days but, in this case, the next day I went back and got the remaining shades that I was interested in. I have a weakness for pinks and girly shades, so this collection is just my cup of tea!

The four shades that I did not purchase and are not shown below are My Pal Joey (vibrant blue creme); My Twin Mimmy (bright yellow creme), Never Have Too Mani Friends (black creme), and the special edition shade, Say Hello Kitty (hot pink shimmer).

From left to right:
Kitty White, Let's Be Friends!, Small+Cute=
Charmmy & Sugar, Look at My Bow!, Super Cute in Pink 
Starry-Eyed for Dear Daniel, Spoken from the Heart, 5 Apples Tall 

Kitty White, Let's Be Friends!, Small+Cute=, Charmmy & Sugar 

Kitty White is a semi-sheer icy pearl shade with crystalline shimmer--perfect for the holiday season!
Let's Be Friends! is a pale whitened-pink creme that requires careful application to avoid streaking.
Small+Cute= is a warm light pink creme, with a slightly sheer and streaky formula. I ♥ the name.

Small+Cute=, Charmmy & Sugar, Look at My Bow!, Super Cute in Pink, Starry-Eyed for Dear Daniel 

Charmmy & Sugar is a beautiful icy lilac-pink with iridescent micro-shimmer and iridescent glitter.
Look at My Bow! is a cool bubble-gum pink creme.
Super Cute in Pink is a purplish-magenta with a crelly formula.

Super Cute in Pink, Starry-Eyed for Dear Daniel, Spoken from the Heart, 5 Apples Tall 

Starry-Eyed for Dear Daniel is a fuchsia with multi-toned micro-shimmer--opaque in two coats!
Spoken from the Heart is a vibrant coral-strawberry pink creme with a great, glossy formula. 
5 Apples Tall is a bold poppy red creme, also with an outstanding formula. 

Spoken from the Heart, Let's Be Friends!, Look at My Bow!, 5 Apples Tall

Do you see any must-haves? My favorites are Starry-Eyed for Dear Daniel, because I have nothing quite like it, Charmmy & Sugar, so fun and sparkly, and Spoken from the Heart, which will be just perfect when spring comes around!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Lemon Curd Thumbprint Cookies

I received this jar of Harrod's awesome-tasting lemon curd recently and decided to put it to use in some cookies. I'm not known to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, so baking up a batch of cookies is actually an Instagram-worthy event for me! 

My mom is the big cook in our family. She has a few go-to recipes she uses year after year, including molasses crescent cookies rolled in powdered sugar, coconut date-nut balls, jam bars, classic spritz cookies, and of course the crowd-pleaser, chocolate-chip. I and my coworkers always look forward to her cookies at this time of year. Even though I am trying to be healthier and cut down on sugar and carbs, I have to try at least one of each!

The dough for these thumbprint cookies is fairly straightforward and simple to put together. The finished result is melt-in-your-mouth buttery goodness with a bit of tartness from the lemon zest. This same recipe would also be great with preserves or even chocolate kisses in place of the lemon curd. 

I used the following recipe, which I found on redbookmag.com

Yields: 45 cookies

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup lemon curd, store bought

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees F. 
  • Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or nonstick liners. 
  • Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with mixer until well blended. 
  • Beat in yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt. 
  • With mixer on low, beat in flour just until moist clumps form. Gather dough together in bowl to bind.
  • Shape scant tablespoons of dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls on prepared sheets, spacing them 1 inch apart. 
  • Using a floured finger, make a deep indentation in center of each ball. 
  • Bake cookies until firm and lightly golden on bottom, about 18 to 20 minutes.
  • Remove cookies from oven and immediately fill indentations with curd. Return to oven and bake 2 minutes longer to set curd.
  • Bake remaining cookies. Lightly dust edges with confectioners' sugar before serving.

Do you have any favorite dessert or cookie recipes that you traditionally use during the holidays? 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Eye Shadow Palette

When I first heard that Gwen Stefani was collaborating with Urban Decay on a palette I knew it would be something I would want to add to my collection, regardless of the shades included! But after receiving it I was so pleased that the colors in this palette turned out to be shades that I will be happy to use on a daily basis.

There is a majority of pale shades, which could be disappointing to some, but overall this is quite a versatile palette. It has many lovely neutrals as well as a few colorful shades, and has a nice balance of mattes and shimmers. Included are highlight, transition, and defining shades so that a complete, cohesive look can be achieved by using this one palette alone. 

Gwen Stefani is said to have participated closely in the design process to ensure that the finished product would reflect her personal style. The packaging is made of sturdy plastic and includes a generously-sized mirror. It is perhaps not lightweight enough to be ideal for travel, but is nevertheless a fun, unique and eye-catching piece with elements of modern art.  

Row 1: Blonde, Bathwater, Skimp, Steady, Punk
  • Blonde (pale beige w/pink iridescent shift)
  • Bathwater (pale beige w/gold pearl)
  • Skimp (pale nude satin)
  • Steady (medium rose w/metallic gold shift)
  • Punk (reddish brown matte)
Row 2: Baby, Anaheim, Stark, Zone, Serious
  • Baby (cool metallic rose)
  • Anaheim (light taupe-brown matte)
  • Stark (nude-pink matte)
  • Zone (medium brown matte)
  • Serious (smoky gray w/iridescent floating pearl)
Row 3: Pop, Harajuku, Danger, 1987, Blackout
  • Pop (pale coral w/iridescent sparkle)
  • Harajuku (metallic blue-pink w/iridescent micro-shimmer)
  • Danger (deep metallic royal blue w/blue micro-sparkle)
  • 1987 (bright metallic yellow-gold) 
  • Blackout (blackest black matte)

I can't wait to start putting this palette to use! I would recommend it to anyone, though the general consensus seems to be that it will appeal more to those with pale or light skin tones. I do think that it could work well for anyone really, especially if you already own many dark or vibrant shades and could use a few more highlight shades to supplement your existing collection. 

As of this writing it is out of stock at Urban Decay, but it will be available at Sephora, both online and in stores, beginning on December 1st. 

Glitter reindeer from Target and candles from Bath & Body Works