Sunday, February 26, 2012

Homemade Treat for Any Occasion: "Chocolate Dipped Strawberries"

Couple of weeks ago was Valentines day and I made a very easy dessert as my treat to my loved ones. And I want to share this with you guys, since you can definitely do this for any occasion. I made "Chocolate Dipped Strawberries" with a slice of white cake (optional). You can prepare this for any type gatherings, birthday parties, anniversaries or no occasion at all.

Here are the ingredients for this recipe:

2 lbs. Fresh Strawberries ( the bigger the better)
1 pack 340 g. Chocolate morsels (you may use dark chocolate too)
1 cup  White Chocolate Morsels
1 to 2 tbps. of butter or other type of shortening

Materials needed are:

Cookie sheet pan
Wax paper or Parchment paper (you can also use foil)
Sauce pan
Glass bowl (should fit your sauce pan but with a space for water, bottom should not touch the water.)
Decorative paper plates

1. First step is to wash the Strawberries. Then dry them thoroughly using paper towels.
*Make sure you dry them real good so it'll be easier for the chocolate to stick.

2. Next is to simmer water on a sauce pan and put the chocolate morsels on the glass bowl.

3. Turn off the heat then put the glass bowl with chocolate on top of the sauce pan, put the butter and start mixing it.

The chocolate will start melting. Make sure the steam from the water wouldn't escape otherwise this will make the chocolate stick together and won't melt. But if that happens, don't panic! It actually happened to me and one thing you should NOT do is to add milk. I thought that the milk will make it melt but it did the opposite. What you can do is to put vegetable oil and mix it continouly. Just put a little bit more if needed, until it becomes shiny and starts melting.

4. Once the chocolate is properly melted, remove it from the heat then hold the strawberries from the stem and start dipping them on the chocolate, covering about 3/4 of each strawberries (you can also use skewer when dipping the strawberries.)

5. Put them on a sheet pan with waxed paper or foil (don't have wax paper available at that time :o) set aside and let them cool until the chocolate sets.

6. Next step is to melt the White chocolate morsels same way as melting the Chocolate morsels.

7. Once the White chocolate is melted, dip a fork and drizzle them over the chocolate covered strawberries. Note: You may also put the melted White Chocolate on a paper piping cone to make a neater design.

8. The last step is to put it on decorative paper plates if you want to give them individually but if you want to serve this on gatherings or parties just put them on a nice white oval platter. You may also serve this with a slice of white cake or a cup cake. Since I didn't have much time that day, I just used Betty Crocker Super Moist white cake mix. It was very easy to prepare, delicious, not so sweet and I think it really compliments the Strawberries and Chocolate. I sliced them in squares and drizzle them with Butterscotch caramel. You can always skip the caramel if you think it'll be too sweet (or too much calories☺) for you.

I used these cute Valentines Day inspired paper plates.

And here is the finished product:

With a drizzle of butterscotch caramel.

With cupcake for Hubby ♥♥♥

Enjoy!!!! ☺☺☺

Monday, February 13, 2012

E.L.F Products Review

Hi guys, so yesterday I finally tried some of products the E.L.F that I ordered last week, and I'll tell you what I liked about them and the stuff that didn't really impress me.

So I'll start off with the brushes, I ordered the 12- piece Professional Brushes but I haven't used all of them yet, I have tried six of them, which are the following:

Foundation Brush- I used a liquid foundation, and I used my fingers to put it on my face, coz I feel like more of the liquid foundation will stick on the brush rather than my face (but I guess it's just me :D). So I used the foundation brush just to blend the product on my face. I rate this product 5 out of 5, it didn't shed, it's firm enough to blend the product yet still soft and gentle to skin, very easy to use and it works!
Foundation Brush

Total Face Brush- I used a little bit of mineral foundation just to seal in the liquid foundation. I so love this brush coz it's soft, gentle to skin, it didn't shed and It's very functional, I used it for bronzer and blush powder too and it just worked great.

Total Face Brush

Eyeshadow Brush- I like the shape of this brush, it picked up the eyeshadow really good, but I'm not a fan of this brush only because it shed too much, that I had to spend time using a tweezer to remove the bristles that fell off my lid and eyelashes. I'll probably use this only if I have the extra time to that extra work.

Blending Eye Brush- just like the Eyeshadow Brush I think it does the job of blending the colors, I love the shape of the brush, but the shedding was really the problem and it just makes me think that the brush hair will all be gone after few uses.

Eyeliner Brush- I love this brush so much, the tip was thin and gentle that made it easy for me to reach the inner and outer lash line and put just the right amount of color. The bristles/hair are firm and didn't shed. I highly recommend this brush, it's very easy to use and works fantastic.

Brow, Lash Brush/Comb- I used this to just brush my eyebrows, to make it neat and comb my lashes just a little after I put mascara. Nothing so special about it, but it's a must have to groom your brow and to remove clumps or separate your lashes after putting mascara.

So all in all, the brushes I tried were Ok. I like how each of one them are labelled depending on their use (great for beginners like me!) They are not the best but they do the job and for a buck per brush, you can't really beat that!

Foundation, Total Face, Eyeshadow, Blending, Eyeliner and Brow Brush/Comb

And now we go with the makeup, the first product I used was the Eyelid Primer in Champagne (this was included on the Sweetheart Collection I got for $2) I didn't like it only because it has so much shimmer on it, so for those people who also use eyelid primer under their eyes,like I do, this may not work if you don't want your under-eyes to be too shimmery but when it comes to holding the product, it really made the color long lasting. I may buy this product again but maybe in a different shade, coz I'm not sure if all the shades will be shimmery or maybe just the Champagne.

Next one I used was the 32- piece Studio Endless Eyes Professional Mini Eyeshadow Palette in Cool colors. I love this palette because it has a wide variety of colors. There's not much matte colors on this palette, but I'm a fan of shimmery eye shadows, so this one really worked for me. And the colors I used have good pigmentation and they're long long. It came with a mirror and double sided brush, in a stylish, sleek packaging, small enough to put on my purse, so this is also great for girl's On the Go. When I received this product, the mirror was moving and I had to glue it myself. I emailed ELF just to let them know about it (also one of the brushes, the Lip Defining Brush was broken). And the next day I received an email saying they already shipped the replacement. I wasn't expecting that they will send another Eyeshadow Palette but they did, FREE of charge!! Now that's what you call Customer Service!!

Studio Eyeliner and Shadow Stick- I used the nice blue eyeshadow from my 32-piece eyeshadow palette just so I can use my Eyeliner and Shadow Stick in Midnight/Blue. I think this is a great duo, it's very easy to apply and long lasting (the eyeliner stayed on my eyes even after I already washed my face!). It's very lightweight, always great to have it on your purse for touch-ups anytime, anywhere. You just have to be careful with it, make sure you twist-down the liner and shadow completely before putting in the cap because they're really soft and they might get smashed.

The last ELF product I used was the Studio Warm Bronzer, it has four different shades that you can use altogether or mix and match. I used the Total Face Brush for this as well, and I put just a tiny bit on my cheekbone, forehead, across my nose and my chin. I like it so much coz it matches my skin tone, it looks natural and gives my face a healthy glow. It also comes in Cool and Golden colors, so there are shades available for almost every skin types.

So those are the E.L.F products I've tried so far and I liked pretty much all of them. I'm definitely gonna order more products in the future. And here are some of the shots I took of "Before" and "After" look.

No make up yet! ☺
With Foundation..

Halfway there! My first ever try of "Smoky Eyes"

Done with my eyes..

OK Done!!


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

My First E.L.F Products

I remember seeing E.L.F (eyes, lips, face) products at Target and Burlington Coat Factory and was surprised to see make up products, like eye shadows, lip glosses, mascaras, brushes etc. so cheap, most of them just $1 ,the packaging was nice and looked ok but it's the price that really made me skeptical in trying the product and my husband also told me not to buy it coz it's just too cheap that it might irritate my skin.

One day I was looking for a make up tutorial for smoky eyes and I came across Dacey Couture youtube channel. You would think that she only uses expensive brands because the results were so nice, I was amazed to learn that she uses a lot of ELF products on her tutorials, and she really has this nice, clear skin so I thought that this must be safe for my skin too.

So I went to ELF's website and read reviews, saw a lot of good feedback and so I decided to  order online and had a great deal, I noticed they always have promos and specials, and I was able to get the 9 piece Sweetheart collection for $2 a $30 value, after I bought $21 worth of products. So for $29.95 including $6.95 standard shipping fee I was able to get the following:

Everything I got for $29.95!!

ELF Professional Brushes

11810 Professional Complete Set of 12 Brushes
183701 Warm Bronzer
181106  Eyeliner/ Shadow Stick in Midnight/Blue
181222  Pigment Eyeshadow on Golden Goddess

Sweetheart ♥ Collection for $2!!!

And right after you place your order, you may refer 5 friends by putting their email addresses as a bonus they will send you a free gift,  they sent me a 9014 Hypershine Lipgloss in Flirt , but I believe this will vary, as I've previously read that people received different gifts from ELF.

I received my package exactly after a week, which is great, coz I've read that some people are not getting it on time. I'm so excited to try all the products I've ordered. I would say the brushes are great , their soft and they really look nice ( though not as fancy looking as high end brushes), but very good quality for the price of $1 per brush. And the SweetHeart Collection was really a steal, this may not be available anymore but ELF always offers discounts and promos. To get these exclusive offers, discounts, makeup and beauty tips I suggest you sign up at ELF

 I will be posting my reviews about the products once I tried them and will share the ones that I really liked and would recommend.

For any comments and thoughts please feel free to drop a line. By the way this is my first ever blog so if there's anything you can suggest to improve my next blogs, would love to hear it.