For the love of: Zoeva Cocoa Blend eyeshadow palette

Palette Contains:  Bitter Start - Palest matte nude. Sweeter End - Shimmering duo chrome nougat. Warm Notes - Glittering cranberry purple. Subtle Blend - Metallic deep bronze. Beans Are White - Deep cocoa brown matte. Pure Ganache - Pure and luxurious metallic gold. Substitute For Love - Toffee brown with subtle shimmer. Freshly Toasted - Rich mahogany brown. Infusion - Matte dark brown infused with golden glitter. Delicate Acidity - Berry toned brown shimmer.

Zoeva Cocoa Blend Palette It’s as good as it looks…

Let’s cut to the chase: A photo of the most gorgeous eyeshadow palette that I’ve ever seen, Zoeva’s newly released Cocoa Blend, popped up in my Facebook newsfeed, on Beauty Bay’s Facie page. So dazzled I was, that I inhaled, sharply, and my stomach did a lurch. “Sod it”, I thought.  “I’ve got to have it”. So, for the absolute bargain price of AUD$33.20 (NZ$36.90), thanks to Beauty Bay, this bad boy from German cosmetics company Zoeva, was mine within two weeks (free international shipping).  I had a feeling I needed to act FAST, this palette is a thing of such beauty I knew it would sell out fast. I’m right – it did: I’m feeling slightly smug at my trend-spotting abilities.  

Sadly, as I write this blog post it’s still out of stock on Beauty Bay, but keep checking lovelies, it’ll be back.  I want to get another one too as this eyeshadow palette is as every bit as good as I hoped. In fact, I’m hoping it comes back in stock soon as I want to get one for a friend’s ‘zero birthday’ that is looming.  Note: You can buy this online from Zoeva directly, but you’ll get whacked with EUR16.00 shipping fee (NZ$26). Ouch. Beauty Bay seems to be the way to go.

Luxurious is the first word that springs to mind when I look at this. Oh, and good enough to eat. In fact, when I’ve showed it off to friends they’ve thought it’s a bar of chocolate as it’s about the same size as a bar of chocolate from Whittaker’s new Artisan range, actually, the packaging ain’t that dissimilar either.  When you open it up, the word ‘chocolate’ is the next word that’ll pop into your head: The colours range from chocolate tones, to rose gold shades. (more…)

Warm Chicken Salad with Ranch Style Dressing

warm chicken salad with ranch style dressingI made this winter appropriate salad for dinner on Saturday night and both my vege-dodging husband and super-fussy friend scoffed this.  In fact, my husband ate so much he complained “I’ve eaten too much” for the rest of the evening. However, this might have something to do with the chocolate fudge self-saucing pudding I made for the kids… That he tucked in to.

When I made this I marinaded the chicken breasts for a couple of hours. That said, I make versions of this salad on week nights and, not being a particularly organised creature, thinking ahead to put the chicken on to marinade is in the too-hard basket. So, as I do when I’m in ‘quick-cook mode’ simply pan fry the chicken sprinkled with some of your favourite seasoning (I love Masterfood’s Tuscan Seasoning, Moroccan Seasoning, or Mrs Dash Garlic & Herb Seasoning).  Actually on that note, this whole recipe, like many of mine that you’ll find on my blog, is very much of the ‘improvise or get creative’ type. No kumara? Use pumpkin. No green beans?  Use capsicum.  No cashew nuts? Use almonds. No bacon? Leave it out.  Lastly, the ingredients look like a lot – I get that. Take some shortcuts if you like, hell buy a pre-made Ranch Dressing to speed things up (Paul Newman’s is a goodie). 

If you do make the dressing though – save the recipe, you’ll want to use it over and over…

Note: Usually I use a special feature on my blog to layout my recipes, but this app I use is misbehaving itself and I’ve admitted defeat for now. So if you are reading the recipe below and moaning at the layout (and lack of a print button) – sorry! I’ll try redoing it next week,b ut for now, my patience has, errr, expired… Lou x

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Moreish Skincare – It just gets better

moreish skincare review

Ahhhh. Happiness.  LOVE Moreish’s re-branded look!

On the face of it, being contacted by a PR agency to see if you are interested in reviewing some natural, cruelty-free and Kiwi-made products for my blog sounds super exciting.  And, usually, emails of this regard cause me to do a little dance of joy (and it would be cool if it happened more often, LOL). But, here comes ‘the but’… On this occasion: I got really nervous.  What was my dilemma? You see the PR company didn’t mention what brand of products I’d be reviewing and I’ve got a reasonably long-standing love affair happening with Moreish, the NZ made, natural, cruelty free skincare range. Clearly I’m a loyal creature, because I got my tits in a right tangle at the prospect of potentially falling in love with a range from Moreish’s competitors. What happened if I loved Moriesh’s competitor’s products just as much, or even more? Then what?  Clearly, sometimes, I catastrophise and fail to consider the obvious. Because when the box of goodies arrived, guess what?   It was a sample of recently rebranded and relaunched Moreish goodies.  What a relief.  I’m such an egg sometimes.

I’ve waxed lyrical about Moreish before (see this blogpost, crikey, I wrote this over 18 months ago!), raving about: Their great price point, ethical practices, quality of product, and ‘no baddies’ approach to skin care. Yeah, I’m a fan and, to cut to the chase, I still am.  So, I’ll keep this post relatively brief (I can hear you all snorting in disbelief that I’ll ever have few words on any topic…).

I got three items sent to me (thank you PR Shop and Moreish!). Nothing disappointed, rather, all delighted. Here’s my thoughts. (more…)

Lou’s Faves – May

Is it just me, or do these monthly favourite blog posts rock around super fast? 

Jordana Blackberry Lipstick

Jordana blackberry lipstick

I slipped putting the lid back on the lipstick. Forgive me for the slightly dodgy shape!

Right, let’s get this out of the way, yes, I bought a $4 lipstick from my local 1,2,3 Shop (i.e. $2 shop) and it’s CRANKING HOT. It’s so good my work colleague Lauren went and bought one as well and she’s rocking it daily. It’s the perfect winter shade, it’s a deep berry colour with a slight sheen finish to it and it applies smooth and pigmented.   It’s also got a scent that is reminiscent of my youth when I played with Strawberry Shortcake dolls (but I can’t remember which doll).  I mention this as some people will be put off by this..  Oh and the packaging is as you’d expect for $4 (pretty shoddy).  Skin tone wise Blackberry is pretty versatile:  It looks great on my super ghostly winter complexion and Lauren looks like a supermodel wearing it with her deep tanned olive skin tone.  Beauty on a bargain.  Happy times.  PS I reckon lovers of MAC’s Rebel lipstick will adore Blackberry.  Price: NZ$4. Available: Keep an eye out for a Jordana stand at your local $2 or 1,2,3 Shop.

Jordana Blackberry lipstick

Jordana lippy and Motion Lotion in my wavy hair (I did the latter with my hair straighteners, I’m rapt I’ve finally learnt how to do it – I’ve been trying to master the ‘wave technique’ for years!)

 

 

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Chorizo, chicken & bacon casserole

I’ve been trying to get a bit more organised with week night dinners lately and, at the same time, I’ve been getting creative with my slow cooker. The creativity for this dish started when I scored a six pack of chorizo sausages from Countdown on sale for $4 and figured I’d try my luck with them in the slow cooker. This was the result, purely trial and error – with, ha ha, no error. We’ll be having this warm and hearty dish again!

chorizo chicken and bacon slow cooker

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The shopping grumbles of a petite curvy chick

petite curvy girl fashion tips

I love these boots as much as I love Clinique Take the Day Off Balm. The Yoga, from Overland Footwear: NZ$279

I went on a mini shopping trip recently to Mt Maunganui and Tauranga with my good friend (and shopping legend) Lisa to stock up on a few winter staples (ankle boots and a winter coat to replace the stunning tailor-made 100% cashmere Armani rip-off coat I had made in Thailand 18 months ago for NZ$150  – i.e. the one that I lost… I’m still not over it).  

I’m curvier at the moment than I’ve been for a while (I’m making no excuses, it’s my fault, end of story) and, despite having a fruitful shopping expedition, I got really frustrated at trying to pack my dinky-but-voluptuous size 14 (on a good day) hourglass frame into, well, most things I tried on.  Lisa on the other hand, who has a figure to die for, along with some decent height on her, can wander into any clothes store, try on a paper bag and look glorious.

Look, big picture, the mission was a tonne of fun with my girlfriend we definitely ruled it a shopping success, but as a petite lass, I spent the pondering the frustrations of:

  • Being extremely vertically challenged (I’m 5″1, but I make up for my height with a big personality)  and;
  •  Having serious curves.

You see, this combo isn’t conducive to easy clothes shopping.

This is a real shame because, in all honesty, if I batted for the other team, frankly, I’d want a woman with some meat on her and, having had some very tall boyfriends in my time (one was 6″4, everyone took the piss out of us) I’d want someone a bit more compact so I didn’t strain my neck again in “mid pucker-up” (my osteopath recommended pillow can only do so much for my dodgy neck). Oh, I do enjoy a good “pucker up”.

So, what grinds my shopping gears, you ask?

Here’s my frustrations of shopping for my petite curviness:

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Dry Shampoo – Save or Splurge?

good dry shampoo

Talk about frustrating.  I buy a ‘higher end’ dry shampoo and ended up having to buy a thrifty one… Sigh.  But before I tell that story, here’s some background…

I’ve already waxed lyrical ages ago about dry shampoo, declaring it the best beauty find, ever. I haven’t changed my position on this bold statement. It’s still the schizzle and, if anything, I am an even bigger dry shampoo fan now than I was way back when I wrote this blog post.

Are you a dry shampoo virgin? He’s a whistlestop summary:

  • It’s a tremendous timesaver: These days I stretch ‘hair wash night’ out to every three, if not four days.
  • It’s also economical: I use less of my $40 per-bloody-bottle ‘gourmet’ shampoo and conditioner AND I don’t need as many colour jobs.  

What’s not to like?  Incidentally, my oily hair has been the bane of my life (along with my oily eyelids) for years and discovering dry shampoo has been a gamechanger. I can’t believe that, pre-dry shampoo discovery, I used to wash and style my hair daily.  Nowadays washing and styling my hair is a complete chore (I’d far rather spend 20 mins doing my makeup!!).

Anyhoo, I’m rambling… You might recall from my recent Empties blog post that my beloved de Lorenzo et Absorb dry shampoo was all used up.  I’d decided to live on the edge and I’d subsequently bought a new (i.e. new to me) higher end dry shampoo from Joico their Instant Refresh Dry Shampoo.  I really wanted to get out of my comfort zone before buying my fourth de Lorenzo can of goodness.  What if there was a better product on the market?  Do you hear me?   

Before I launch in – you’ll see this blog post is called ‘save or splurge’. If you are wondering where I’m going with this, here’s the Exec Summary:   Either I got a faulty Joico Instant Refresh dry shampoo or I’m using it wrong. I can’t get it to work for me, at all. I’ve tried and tried – and I’ve admitted defeat. The roots of my hair look as oily after spraying as they did before. I’m super disappointed and my wallet is crying, for with a $25 price-tag, it wasn’t in the ‘cheap as chips’ category.  [insert grumble: Should have got a new Maybelline or L’Oreal mascara for that price…. Or some more Australis eyeliners.]    So, simply put, dear readers, this blog post is called ‘Save or Splurge’ as I had to buy another new dry shampoo because Joico didn’t deliver. (more…)

Lou’s April Favourites

Here’s the round-up of my beauty and foodie favourites for the month of April!

MAC Whole Lotta Love Pro Longwear Blush

I’ve had this hot pink/red blush for ages, lost it, refound it again (under the passenger seat of my car) and I’m not letting it out of my sight. Whole Lotta Love is a Pro Longwear blush that was recommended to me at Britomart’s Pro Mac store.  I mentioned to the sales assistant that I was in the market for a new blush, something that had no coral or peach tones (as I seem to own a tonne of these). I was steered in the direction of some bright pink in the form of Whole Lotta Love. I was nervous I’d ended up looking like a dolly, but clearly, I didn’t.  Certainly a super light hand is needed with this bright pink blush, but I love the ‘just got back from exercise’ look it gives my complexion, along with the awesome pigmentation and long lasting wear. This is my first Pro Longwear Blush – and I’m going to predict it won’t be my last. Note the pic below doesn’t quite show how vibrant it is!mac whole lotta love blush review

 

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