Friday, 24 January 2014

Skincare Empties - Goodbye 2013!

As we are getting into the new year, I took a look at some of my items in my beauty basket and was thinking 'I wonder what 2014 will bring in terms of beauty and skincare?'. What better way to get ready for all things beauty in 2014 then by saying goodbye and reflecting on what we used in 2013? Seems logical.

In terms of beauty and skincare, 2013 was a great year for me. I always used skincare and always tried different products before, but last year was when I finally sat down and asked myself: 'Skin, what do you want? What do you need to be healthy?'. I started listening to myself and focusing on what my skin needed to be healthy, rather than listening to what everyone else was telling me would work for me. Although I am always looking for peoples opinions on skincare and grateful when someone turns me on to something promising, but with disappointment after disappointment -  I really needed to focus on finding what works for ME and MY skin. 2013 was a great year for me and skincare because I started getting a lot more educated about what I was putting on my skin and face, I was able to do more thorough research and tested countless samples to find the best products for my face. I will always be on the hunt for the better face wash or night cream, but I think I am well on my way to finding the perfect skincare routine.

Here's the breakdown on what I used up last year:

Shiseido Bio-Performance Advanced Super Restoring Cream - I've never used Shiseido Skincare before and I received this little deluxe sample with a promo code with Sephora online. I was super excited to try one of their products and I needed a night cream so this was perfect at the time. I used this as a night cream because it is a little thicker in consistency, and since there was no SPF. Restoring creams usually scream night cream to me as well. Although it's really good at moisturizing and I did notice plumper, more fuller skin (especially where its sunken in a bit or scarred), that's about all it did. I didn't notice a change in any of my pigmentation or any acne prevention, it did not keep my oily tzone or acne at bay. I feel this might be better for more mature skin, and I might revisit this product again for moisturization purposes - but I will most likely not repurchase in 2014.

Philosophy Purity Facial Cleanser - I loved loved loved the idea of Philosophy and their products made more naturally and simple. But if that were the case, truly, than why do their products have parabens!?!? Ugh, I hated finding parabens when I was reading the ingredient list - I was soooo disappointed! I actually enjoyed this as a cleanser, the scent and the freshness of the Tea Tree Oil was so refreshing and my skin looked just as fresh. But unfortunately, with the growing evidence against Parabens and how they are linked to cancer cells is just too much of a risk to continue using Philosophy products. So lame! I loved everything that I've sampled from them, but one of the reasons I started this skincare mission is to find products that not only make my skin healthy, but keep me healthy and good for the environment as well. So disappointed Philosophy! Definitely not repurchasing this one or any Philosophy products unless the reformulate their products to EXCLUDE parabens in the future.

GoodSkin Eyliplex-2 Eyelift/Circle Reducer Day & Night Eye Combo - I had bought this on my last trip to the Estee Lauder Warehouse Sale (to see my entire Haul from that trip, click here), and as they were 2/$25, I still have one more that I am using. I actually really like this product, I feel that the two different formulas for day and night really target certain eye concerns. The cooling and refreshing day gel helps depuff eyes and diminish the appearance of dark circles; and the night balm is super moisturizing and helps repair skin including lines and wrinkles. If I happen to go to the next sale in March, I will definitely be picking this up again, especially if its the same price 2/$25. Great price and product, can't go wrong!

Murad Renewing Cleansing Cream from the Resurgence Line - I got this from my mom, she tends to buy special value packs when they are on sale, and since I needed a cleanser at the time - I tried this one. Although I don't have a list of ingredients, I do know that Murad products have a great repertoire for being great for sensitive skin and they don't test on animals! Big points there! I did enjoy using this cleanser, I felt that it gave just enough moisturization and still felt like it really cleaned my skin. No filmy residue and it didn't dry out my skin like some lather cleansers do. If I didn't already find the perfect cleanser and one that I absolutely love and won't give up for anything - I would definitely repurchase this. I am interested in trying some other products from their line since I did like this one.

Nivea Visage Light Moisturizing Day Care SPF 15 Cream - Coming from a European family and visiting Europe quite often myself, Nivea has been a household name almost my entire life. This is not the first time that I tried Nivea face cream, or this product for that matter. On one of my trips back home, I bought and loved this cream so much that I brought back 3 bottles of it (at the time, Nivea had not launched their facial skincare line in North America). When I was finishing my last bottle of day cream and needed a new one I found myself holding this cream again and figuring 'Why not?! I used and loved it before, lets try the formula now - it might be better!'. I like that there's SPF already in the cream, and it was light but moisturizing. It didn't do anything to even skintone or complexion and did nothing for my acne. Great (cheaper!) option for a good moisturizing cream, but I think I will not repurchase. I want to see what else is out there, something more natural or not tested on animals and of course - without Parabens!

First Aid Beauty F.A.B. Face Cleanser w/FAB Antioxident Booster - The search for the perfect face cleanser is over! This is it! After many samples and product trials, this is the absolute best facial cleanser that I've tried and for my skin. I love that this is an acne fighting cleanser, but still gentle and super moisturizing for sensetive skin. Its so hard to find something that will both fight acne and be gentle enough for my sensetive skin. I have been using this baby since April of last year (to read about that Sephora Haul, click here) and I don't intend on stopping anytime soon! Unless it's of course to try FAB's new Red Clay Cleanser! Stay tuned for that review this year! I recommend this to anyone and everyone, it will work for you! Loved it so much that I bought other products from their line and loving them so far!

Clinique Turnaround Concentrate Visible Skin Renewer - Again, another goodie from my last Estee Lauder Warehouse sale back in September. I had used this before when I recieved a deluxe sample from a friend, but I was happy to try it again since I got it free at the sale! It's the full sized bottle too! I used this twice a day on top of my moistuizer, and it does exactly what it says it will. I noticed a bit difference in my skin tone and discolouration. It also helped keep my acne at bay and healed my scars to where you can't even see them anymore. I don't think I will be repurchasing anytime soon. Mostly because I think this product is better suited for more mature skin. I do like to purchase and use a product for more mature skin for a short period of time (usually right after summer) to try and correct some of the sun damage I accumulated during the summer. I know I will be purchasing and using either this or their 'Laserfocus' serum, but not until after summer is over (or if I get another for free!;)).

Whew! There you have (some) of my more recent empities from 2013, there were definitly more empties - I can't tell you how many different little deluxe samples I've tried - but these are the ones that I happened to hold on to. Have you tried any of these products before? What did you think? I would love to know, tell me in the box below! Or if you have any skincare suggestions that you would like me to try and maybe do a review on, make sure to let me know about them too!

For more skincare posts and hauls, be sure to subscribe to my blog by entering your email into the box at the top of this page. Tag me on your empties posts and reviews with #makeupmasochist on Instagram and don't forget to follow (@fernonje). You can also follow my blog with all your other favourites on Bloglovin' - just search my blog on the app and follow or click the icon at the top of this page!

Still on the hunt for the perfect skincare products - so much skincare, so little time!

Better get on it.


Monday, 20 January 2014

Food For Thought: Hot Pepper Jelly

Happy Monday!!

Start of a new week, hope everyone enjoys! I decided to start of this week on a fire-y note, a spicy recipe that's been keeping us all warm this winter. I need to document this one because I have 1 jar left and I will need to make this again soon. I already have a little waiting list for my next batch. Something this good needs to be shared, so I hope you all enjoy and try this out for yourselves!

I got the inspiration from watching Chef Chuck Hugh's "Chuck's Day Off" and his take on Red Pepper Jelly (to try his recipe, click here), but I decided to tweak my take a bit and use a few different types of hot peppers instead of just 1 Scotch Bonnet. I made this with my family (and myself!) in mind, we don't shy away from spicy or hot foods. We actually prefer our foods spicy, and since I had some Jalapenos and Portuguese Hot Peppers that I had grown in my garden, I knew this would be a great way to use them and impress the family at the same time.

This is how I did it:

First things first, the peppers need to be diced. I started with the sweet bell peppers first, I had about 7 or 8 sweet bell peppers. I used all different colours - red, yellow and orange, no discrimination here. They are all sweet and yummy and going into the pot. I used one large communal bowl to put all the peppers in once they were diced.

Next we will chop up some Jalapenos. I had about 6 smaller ones from my garden (one had actually turned Orange, so it was spicier than the green ones. The redder in colour the pepper, the spicier it is. I had also bought about 4 or 5 larger Jalapenos from the supermarket. So crazy the difference in size, but that's another story. I chopped 'em all up and added them to the communal bowl, seeds and all!

And lastly time to chop up the Portuguese Hot Peppers. These are all from my garden! I used about 3 fairly longer peppers, I find they are a lot longer when you grow them than in the supermarket. Everyone into the communal bowl!

I grabbed a large pot and set the temperature to Medium-High on my stove top. I dumped all the peppers in and added about 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar and stirred that until it was almost all dissolved.

When making any kind of jams, jellies or preserves, I like to use some type of fresh citrus to cut the sweetness and compliment the flavour base. With this jelly I decided to use both lemon and lime juice and shavings. I felt that the lemon will brighten the sweetness of the bell peppers and the lime will compliment the heat of the Jalapenos and hot peppers. The zest and juice of 1 whole lemon and lime are added and stirred until the sugar is completely dissolved. I also added about 1/4 Cup of water as well.

Now is the time to wait. While stirring every so often, it will take about 1 1/2 to 2 hours to reduce, thicken and get the peppers nice a soft. Be patient! The longer it cooks down the spicier it will be!

Once its reduced down and there's a nice, thick syrup - its time to jar! I used the smaller sized jars as I thought the smaller size is perfect for a garnish preserve. I ladled the jelly in the jars slowly, while it was still hot. I made sure to fill the jars to the rim and placed the lids on after pouring. the heat will seal the jar, so no need to boil them after. This mix made about 8 1/2 of these littler sized jars.

And voila! Perfect little jars filled with potent, spicy-sweet perfection! Great to garnish and eat with any kind of meats, but really nice with red meats. Nice with whitefish and perfect to put on top of tacos or any kind of Mexican or Latin foods. I seriously eat this with everything and love it as a dunking sauce for almost anything!

I was able to give some away to family and considering the fact that they returned empty jars days after, I think it's a good sign, right?! Like mentioned above, I already have requests for me to make this again, so I will have to make double the batch next time I think! The last of it is in my fridge and I am using it sparingly. It was a great way for us to keep warm this past winter ;).

What do you think? Do you love or hate spicy foods? I would love to hear your thoughts, leave me a comment below! Let me know if you plan on trying this recipe and how it turns out! Of course, feel free to use your own subsitutions, and please take caution as my recipe is VERY HOT! You can adjust how much spice by adding a little or a lot of hot peppers, or if you prefer to keep it sweet - don't use any hot peppers at all! Don't forget to let me know what you would like to see next on the blog and if there's a recipe you would like me to try in a future blog post!

For more recipe ideas and inpiration, please subscribe to my blog by inputting your email into the box at the top of this page. You can also follow my blog on Bloglovin' with all your favourites and for more foodie photos and posts follow me on Instagram (@fernonje). Make sure to tag me with #makeupmasochist so I can see how your jellies turned out!

Now I'm hungry.


Sunday, 19 January 2014

Beauty 101 - How to Clean Makeup Brushes

 Hi Dolls,

This post is long overdue, I think, can't have a beauty blog without there being a post on how to properly care for and maintain makeup brushes. Right?!

One of my most asked questions at work, or just in general, is 'How do you clean your makeup brushes?' and 'How often do you clean your brushes?'. The former is easier to answer than the latter, the second question obviously depends on how often you use your brushes and what type of skin you have. The more you use your brushes and the oilier your skin, the more often you should wash your brushes.

Now because I use my brushes and makeup almost everyday, I tend to wash them more often, and certain brushes more often than others. I have mostly Sigma and MAC brushes with some Sephora, Hello Kitty and Tokidoki brushes, along with 4 Beauty Blenders. I tend to wash my foundation and powder brushes more often as I feel these need the most care, and because I have so many shadow brushes I am able to rotate them - not having wash them so often.

The brush cleanser that I like to use most is the Beauty Blender 'Blender Cleanser' Liquid or Solid Soap. I feel this one is the best, gets all the makeup off and returns brushes to their original colouring. It's strong enough to cleanse and make brushes white again, but still conditioning enough to keep the bristles soft. Other cleansers that I've used don't lift the stains from the brushes and I find liquid dish soap to be too drying for the soft bristles. I wash my brushes every week or once every two weeks, dependent on the usage. I also clean them before and after every makeup client I have.

Let's start:

I wash my brushes over the kitchen sink and lay them out to dry on a towel spread across the counter. This is the best place for me because of the amount of room I have. I use warm water; not cold and definitely not hot, either. If the water is too cold, (first of all - you'll be too cold to finish washing your brushes) the extreme cold won't help lift makeup and stains. If the water is too hot, you risk adding water contaminants like lead and chlorine to your brushes. Also, the heat strips away moisture - leaving natural bristle fibers too dry.

 Always wet and rinse your brushes facing down, never up against the water flow. This will just mangle the bristles and drive the makeup deeper into the base of the brush. You also risk loosening the glue that holds the brush head to the handle. Also, NEVER soak or dunk your brushes into a sink or tub filled with water. Again, this will seriously damage your brushes, possibly leaving them unusable.

Once the brush is damp, I pump some of the cleanser and massage it into the brush. I will usually use the inside of my palm and brush the bristles against it, removing the makeup and making the soap lather. With some thick brushes or ones with dense bristles, I sometimes have to repeat the lather process to get everything out.

When the lathering is done, I rinse the brush really well, making sure that there's no soap residue left over. You can already see that the soap has removed all the makeup and the bristles are back to their original colours.

Once the brushes are thoroughly rinsed and cleaned, I use my fingers and shape the brush into its orignal shape. This is so that it dries and keeps the original shape. This also keeps the bristles closer together so that there are no random, stray bristles.

And voila, fresh and clean brushes ready for use!

I love how good they smell and how soft they are when they are freshly washed, one of my favourite things - even though washing them is not a favourite past time at all!

Hope this post helped all those who are confused or need some more guidance on how to wash your brushes. Everyone does it differently, this is just how I do it and the tips and tricks that I've learned from the trade. It works for me, so I hope it will help and work for you as well!

Don't forget to subscribe to my blog by inputting your email into the box at the top of the page and be sure to leave me some comments, so I know how I'm doing and what you would like to see next! You can also follow my blog on Bloglovin' (Icon at the top of the page) and on Instagram (@fernonje). Tag me on Instagram with #makeupmasochist so I can see all your freshly washed brushes and brush collections!

For more information on the products used and to purchase, please visit the links below:

Gonna go dirty up these babies! ;)


Monday, 13 January 2014

I'm Back! Happy New Year!!

Hi Everyone! Happy New Year!!

I am feeling much better after my little hiatus I took and feeling really good about the year ahead. I needed to take some time off to focus on work and Christmas and all the craziness that comes along with that. It was hard for me to make the time needed to produce well thought out blogs for you guys and I figured it would be best to take a break to avoid putting out half a$$ed posts. You guys deserve better than that!

On a positive note, during this time off I had the opportunity to accumlate a lot of material for the blog, so not only am I back - but I'm back with an arsenal. There will be some changes in the blog, you might not see some series that I had produced every month, but this is only because I want to introduce a lot more (better!) content that I think would be best to make this a well rounded blog. A little something here and there to keep things fresh and everyone on the spectrum happy ! :)

Here's a photo recap of the past couple months up until today, from my Instagram (@fernonje) to keep you up to date with some moments from the holiday season. I kept active on my Instagram, don't forget to follow and tag all things beauty to #makeupmasochist !

As always, My feed is flooded with photos of my pugs, Babii and Tuna. No better way to start my little summary. Here's Babii trying to catch the last of the sun before the snow and Old Man Winter rolled in and her as a tiny pup for #throwbackthrusdsay. Isn't she the cutest ever!!?!? The cutest!!

 We lost two very sweet and very much loved pugs from our pug family on Instagram. We lost our beloved Sue and Oreo. They will forever be loved and missed. RIP Puggie friends, until we meet at the Rainbow Bridge.

Babii catching up on her beauty sleep, and Tuna looking all cute and stuff (as usual!).

 We celebrated Babii's 8th Birthday in September, can't believe my baby is 8 already!! Time is going by too fast. My pugs bring me the greatest joy and are my best friends. I love them more than anything, and am blessed to be their Mama. I couldn't be luckier to have a couple of the best pugs anyone could ask for! Hope this year is the best yet for my Babii!

 Here are a couple photos of my girls with some nice Christmas cards and gifts that we received from our IG pug family around the world! We were so happy and are so lucky to have friends all over - from the States to Japan to Brazil... and we love you all!! Hope that 2014 brings so many blessings to you all!

Here's Maggie and Babii showing us all the proper way to relax for 2014. Ready, go!

We were so happy to meet out pug friend Bijou's (@bijou9) mom when she visited Toronto over the holiday season! We just wished we had more time and better weather to plan more to do! When she returns to Toronto in the summer like planned, we are going to show her the best time! Love that Instagram brings new friends into your life, and brings people together! We cherish our friendship!!

Here's our two trees (yes I got a second one this year!). So happy with both of our trees! Our original tree is the one on the right, its decorated with red and gold ornaments and this year we added this cute starbucks ornament to it. It's soooo cute!! Our new tree is placed in the family room in the front of the house and I decorated it with white and silver ornaments and an Angel on top this time instead of a star. Lovee them, I was so sad to take them down!

I had used some of my free time to cook a lot more and work on some of my recipes. I had also made bread with my grandma again. I love being able to do things with my grams, and she loves that I can pass down her recipe of making bread and keep the tradition going. I truely cherish these special moments I spend with her. I also mastered (and maybe even improved) my 'Pasta Carbonara' recipe (to see my original post of this recipe, click here) by adding halved grape tomatoes, spinach and black olives. I think it was my best batch yet!

Here are some makeup posts and MAC moments with friends over the holiday season. We had 3 great collections lauch during December, first pic is me and my friend wearing "RiRi Woo' Lipstick from the 'Rihanna <3's MAC Holiday Collection; one of my 'Punk Couture' Collection inspired looks (A post for this collection and this look will be posted this month); and one of my 'Magnetic Nudes' Collection inspired looks (I have been loving this collection and will post swatches and this look this month). Can't wait for the spring collections to launch, I'm already so excited!!

And the best, I've saved for last. Here is my new baby nephew looking like the cutest baby that ever lived. I love that I have these photos on my feed, because I use them as a little pick me up with I'm feeling down. How can that not put the biggest smile on your face? Loved spending time with this special little guy!

Well there you have it loves! A little recap of my life in the past two months. Obvi, there was a lot more going on, like work and Christmas shopping - but I didn't think that would make for good blogging ;). Don't forget to leave me comments in the box below and subscribe to my blog by typing in your email to the box on the top right corner of the page! Follow my blog on Bloglovin' (icon at the top of the page) and don't forget to follow me on Instagram and post your looks with #makeupmasochist for me to like and comment!

Have a great 2014 everyone, I have a good feeling about this year!