Tuesday, November 29, 2011

263: cake balls



So it was my bff's engagement party this past weekend. She told us a bit last minute that we could bring baked goods for the desert table because it's a greek tradition... so I whipped up my first ever batch of cake balls (just like cake pops, minus the sticks) & it was actually really easy! The recipe is insanely simple, it's mainly the chocolate coating and decorating that take a bit more dexterity and patience! Check out the process:



Start with baking some cakes. I made a pack of Duncan Hines Devil's Food cake, which is pretty much foolproof! Bake 'em & let them cool too!


Throw all of the cake into a big bowl & mix them until they're crumbly


Grab a matching frosting!


Spoon in about half the tub of frosting and keep mixing


The cake & frosting mix should be a bit pasty & moldable now!


Scoop up some teaspoon-fulls into the palm of your hand and form some balls.


Do that about 85 times. ahahha
& refrigerate for a couple of hours so that they're dippable


Now grab a handful of molding chips & put them into a bowl. You can microwave them for about 20 seconds at a time, taking them out and stirring to make sure the heat is evenly distributed.


Once you have the chocolate melted, just dip your cake balls into it & drip off the excess and place them onto some wax paper to set. I don't have any photos of that process because it was sorta time-consuming and labour intensive & I just forgot :(

Then you can take any extra chocolate & melt it in a ziploc bag, cut off the tip & decorate!





They're so delicious & really rich too! Make sure to make each ball pretty small so that you don't OD on sugar after eating just one. They were a hit with my girlfriends too! Congrats to the happy couple on their engagement! Love you J&J!

xoxo

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Monday, November 28, 2011

262: tutorial - nail care basics

This post is all about the basics of nail polish application & a bit of nail care too! Things in here are pretty simple & I do think some of you nail-pros will already know all of the following, but I've been getting questions about it, so here it is & I'll be adding more tips to this post in the future! Hopefully it's helpful to some of you!


NAIL PREP

When trimming your nails, a square cut nail is pretty standard & is a good shape for avoiding ingrown nails from cutting too deep. Cut your nails & file any uneven or rough spots in long strokes in ONE direction.

Before applying any nail polish, wash your hands and nails thoroughly with soap to make sure they're clean & then towel dry. Then with a cotton pad, use some nail polish remover to get rid of any excess oils on your nails. Coat your nails with a basecoat to protect your nails from turning yellow and make your mani last longer.


NAIL POLISH APPLICATION




Start by taking your brush and resting it near the base of the nail. Push the polish towards your cuticle, being careful not to touch your skin. Leave a tiny gap right by the cuticle.


Keeping the brush parallel to your nail, float the brush to the tip in a single, smooth stroke.


Then starting at the center base of the nail again, and pull the brush along the side for your nail, contouring the edge.


Do the same on the other side of your nail, in a single smooth stroke.

With only 3 smooth strokes, you should have one THIN coat of nail polish on your nail now. Try your best to apply the polish in thin layers & allowing each layer to dry in between. With most nail polishes, a coat or two is enough & some cheaper ones may take 3 coats, so it will take some time... just have your computer or tv nearby so you have something with you to kill the time :)



When applying any nail art on top of your base colour, try to keep coats thin or let all thicker polish (like dotting or drawings) dry thoroughly because it can smear when you top coat.

Finish with a fast dry topcoat and reapply the top coat a few days into your manicure to make it last longer.

CUTICLE CARE

Cuticles are a layer of skin at the base of your nail that act as a seal and protect your body from nasty stuff like bacteria & fungi. That's why it's important not to cut your cuticles! I used to cut mine, but one of my nails actually started forming deep horizontal ridges from the damage at the base of the cuticle. There are ways to keep your cuticles looking good and being healthy without having to snip them off !


- moisturize cuticles nightly with a cuticle cream or with an oil. Vitamin e, jojoba, coconut or olive oil are all great choices. I personally use a body balm that contains jojoba, beeswax, avocado, hemp & peppermint. Burt's Bees Lemon cuticle butter is awesome too!


- when pushing back cuticles, make sure not to do it while they are dry. You can soak your nails in a bowl of warm water or just do it after you shower. Grab some cuticle remover oil and an orange stick and gently push back your cuticles & then move the stick in small circles around the base of the nail to take off the dead skin that clings onto your nails.

- avoid using nail polish remover more than once a week & always wear rubber gloves when using harsh cleaning chemicals!

If you have any more tips, product recommendations or questions, leave us a comment!

xoxo

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261: 12 days of chic

Have you written down your shopping list for Christmas yet? Or are you spoiling yourself this Cyber Monday before shopping for others?

Well, we're part of another great campaign with Chictopia & instead of focusing on us as bloggers, this time we're actually promoting Lipgloss and Black! For the next 12 days, we're listing our items on the Chictopia shop with special theme days & the items will be on sale for 30-50% off!



The theme for DAY 1 is "pretty little thing", so we've listed the following:





& more! So go check out all the other pretty little things at the Chictopia shop & get in on the sale!




xoxo
&
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Thursday, November 24, 2011

260: ombre nails on EIU




I know I've done an ombre nails tutorial before but I've done a new one with some on-trend colours for the Chictopia blog. Go check out the tutorial here & lemme know if you try it out!

& to our American friends-- HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
Enjoy your amazing turkey feasts, we're thankful for all of you readers!

xoxo

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Monday, November 21, 2011

259: tutorial - half moon manicure

For as long as I can remember doing my nails, I've used the half moon manicure as my default "fancy" mani. It's a great classic look and I prefer it to a classic manicure because you don't necessarily need to have long or consistent lengths of nails to get this look.

I usually freehand this look but here's an easy & foolproof method that won't require a steady hand! Here's the look we're going for:



You'll need:

- two colours of nail polish
- top coat
- paper reinforcement stickers



Start with your base colour that you want on the half moon of your nails


grab your paper reinforcement stickers. These are a basic school supply that you can find at any office store. They only cost a couple dollars for a few hundred.


When your nails are completely dry, stick a sticker on each of your nails. position them carefully so that you have nice even sized 'moons'


Paint on your other colour!


Peel the stickers off & top coat


& there you go! An easy way to get a perfect half moon manicure :)

Some of you had some general nail polish questions for me, so I'm working on some tutorials on nail polish basics for you guys for next Monday!



xoxo

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

258: chictopia - week of giving

As you all know, we've just started blogging for Chictopia & we love it there so much because there's such a great sense of community. This year, they've started a campaign to give back to some deserving charities and organizations.



Chictopia is encouraging its' members to submit outfit posts that represent or embody your favourite charities. Once you submit your photo and blurb about why it's important to you, the community will vote on their fave! The "winning" charity will receive up to $1000 from Chictopia. How awesome is that?

So go enter now! We did! and we're promoting Movember...



If you want to vote for Movember to receive the proceeds of the contest, make sure to favourite our nomination:




Read more about the contest here! Every entry contributes another dollar to the chosen charity, up to $1000! Blog for a cause today!

xoxo
&
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