Review: Tarte Tarteist Lash Paint Mascara

img_4527

I initially received a sample size of this mascara at Sephora (100 Point Reward). I used up the sample in less than two weeks and rushed to my nearest Sephora to grab a full-size, only to learn that the store that I had visited was sold out 😓 I immediately went on the Tarte website and to my surprise, there was a sale on 😍 So, I bought two Tarteist Lash Paint Mascaras, without any hesitation, and this is why 😀

I will begin by stating that I already have quite thick, dark and volumous curly lashes, so my purpose, with regards to using mascara, is to add more drama, length and volume as well as for lash separation. After applying one coat of this mascara, my lashes were instantly thicker, longer and more defined (in that there was more curl). However, this mascara, true to its name, has a paint-like consistency – it’ s thick!!! and takes longer than any other mascara I have ever used before to dry. While the mascara dries, it is crucial not to let your lashes touch your lids (especially if you have eyeshadow on!), as colour transfer is bound to happen and this product isn’t so simple to remove once it touches skin! I had to wait about 3 minutes before applying my second coat and thats when I really fell in love because I usually need at least 3 coats of mascara to achieve the look I go for and managed to get it in just 2 coats with Tarteist Lash Paint Mascara. Here is a picture of what my lashes looked like after two coats.

fullsizerender-2

I find I get better results when I apply this mascara after I have primed my eyelids and applied eyeshadow (I think the color that falls off and settles onto my lashes helps to build up the volume of the mascara).

This mascara stays put on my lashes for about 8-10 hours before I notice particles of it on my face. It seems fairly easy to remove with a (preferably, an oil-based) face wash/cleanser, although I have struggled to find a makeup remover that can get rid of ALL traces of this mascara. Despite removing my makeup with built for make-up wipes, and washing and toning my face at night, some mornings, I still wake up with black crud in my eyes and on random parts of my face 😬

Nonetheless, Tarte has outdone itself with this mascara which Tarte claims on its website is vegan friendly as well as safe for contact lens wearers.

Have you tried this mascara? Share what you think 🙂

Advertisements

Review: Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Drink of H20 Hydrating Boost

h202.jpg

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Drink of H20 Hydrating Boost ($47 CDN) is a new lightweight gel facial moisturizer that is water-based, packed with marine antioxidants as well as free of phthalates, mineral oil, sodium lauryl sulfates, gluten and parabens!!!

The first time I tried a gel moisturizer was two years ago when I was in Hong Kong. I remember being enthralled with the rose scent and wishing  thatI could have re-purchased the product when it finally finished, but I was NOT willing to pay exorbitant customs charges and could not find a local supplier ☚

A few weeks back, when I saw an advertisement for Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Drink of H20 Hydrating Boost on the Tarte website, I was hyped to learn it would be available in the Canadian market soon, because I couldn’t wait to test out this gel moisturizer.  Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Drink of H20 Hydrating Boost was released alongside a line of other skincare (including SPF and a cleansing gel) as well as make-up products and brushes. The packaging for these items is super cute – gold embossing on turquoise, pink and purple!

The moisturizer comes in a jar, which I prefer, since I can use as much as I need. However, be mindful not to leave lidded products open for too long as this usually compromises on their quality. The moisturizer is thick, clear and has a strong floral (lavender) fragrance.

Once I applied the gel onto my freshly washed and toned face, I noticed that it felt very refreshing and hydrating. It also absorbed quickly and easily into my skin.

I had no issues applying my regular makeup routine on top of this moisturizer although I did find that I looked “shinier” (the moisturizer I was using prior is advertised to reduce pores and sebum flow, and to be anti-shine and mattifying). I also used this as a PM moisturizer and found that my skin remained hydrated throughout the night.

Although I am not sure I will disregard all moisturizers I have used before (nor can I say that I will refrain from trying new products on the market), I can safely say that since I’ve been re-introduced to the world of gel moisturizers, I don’t know if I could return back to cream moisturizers. Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Drink of H20 Hydrating Boost really provides a boost of hydration to my skin and feels refreshing and light. Not to mention, this gel is packed with anti-oxidants.

Currently, Rainforest of the Sea Drink Of H2O Hydrating Boost is only available either at Tarte.com, Sephora stores, or on Sephora.com. 

If you’ve had experience with this product, please share your thoughts.

Easy PeaZzzY Vegan Salad Dressing Recipes

vegansalad

15 Vegan Salad Dressing Recipes

I recently came across this wicked site with lots of super-easy to make vegan salad dressings. Those of you who like simple traditional tastes like ranch and poppyseed are covered as are those of you who have more adventurous tastebuds! I’ve already tried Tahini Maple and I cant wait to try out the others.

Just to note: These recipes are super delicious for vegans and non vegans alike as I recently gave my dad a veggie covered in a vegan avocado lime dressing (posted under recipes) and he was totally hooked as well as positive that there had to be cream or some form or dairy even though I only added a little Vegenaise! Soooo, even if you are not vegan, or even vegetarian, I highly suggest you give these fresh salad dressings a try because anything beats bottled salad dressings which are loaded with preservatives!

Fall Favorites: Coconut Curry Pumpkin Soup, DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte & Pumpkin Scones

Upon waking up today I truly belived that Fall was in the air because as soon as I was exposed to the chilly morning air, I elevated back up to my home up in the sky to grab a sweater! Minutes later, when I walked in to Starbucks, all I could smell was cinnamon, pumpkin and nutmeg! So, I decided to get a short of PS in my Americano and went on with my day with thoughts, smells and tastes of Fall occupying my mind. Below I will share three of my favorite FALL recipes involving, you guessed it, PUMPKIN!

FYI: Pumpkin is rich in antioxidants that help fight stress as well as boost the immune system.

Coconut Curry Pumpkin Soup

coconut pumpkin curry soup

I enjoyed this soup for the first time last year at a Thanksgiving dinner. Although the version I tried was not vegan, I have been experimenting with this recipe for the last two weeks and think I have finally devised a vegan variation that not only tantalizes my taste buds and hopefully yours too, but which actually tasted between to me than the cream-heavy version I was introduced to.

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 cup coconut oil

1 cup chopped onions

1 clove garlic, minced

3 cups vegetable broth

1 teaspoon curry powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 (15 ounce) can 100% pure pumpkin

1 cup light coconut milk

Directions:

Heat the coconut oil in a deep pot over medium-high heat.

Stir in the onions and garlic; cook until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.

Mix in the vegetable broth, curry powder, salt, coriander, and red pepper flakes.

Cook and stir until the mixture comes to a gentle boil, about 10 minutes.

Cover, and boil 15 to 20 minutes more, stirring occasionally.

Whisk in the pumpkin and coconut milk, and cook another 5 minutes.

Pour the soup into a blender, filling only half way and process until smooth.

Return to a pot, and reheat briefly over medium heat before serving.

Pumpkin Scones

pumpkin scones

For as long as they have been sold, I have been obsessed with Starbucks Pumpkin Scones! But, but at +480 calories each and countless grams of fat and minimal nutrition, I have not indulged in one since they appeared after labour day weekend. However, I recently came across this recipe that I was pleased with, but I definitely want to tweak it and will post any updates as they are discovered. For now I will share as is.

INGREDIENTS (Makes 10 scones)

1 cup smashed pumpkin

2 cups wholemeal spelt flour

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

A pinch of  salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

60 g melted Earth’s Balance or butter or cold pressed coconut oil1 tablespoon manuka honey or pure maple syrup

100 g (1 cup/ 3 1/2) oats for rolling

1/2 cup sun-dried fruit (raisin, Goji berries, figs, etc.)

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 180 C.
Combine spelt flour, salt, cinnamon and baking powder.
Add raisins and mix through.
Combine smashed roasted pumpkin with the manuka honey and melted butter.
Add smashed pumpkin mix to the flour.
Combine gently with your fingertips until a soft dough forms and mixture is combined.
Scatter the oats on the base of your chopping board then scoop out your scone dough onto the oats.
Flatten out the pumpkin scone dough to about 5 cm,  scattering some extra oats on the top if you need to so it doesn’t stick.
Cut the scones into rounds using a cutter.  To stop the dough sticking, dip the cutter into a little flour in between each one.
Place the scones onto a baking tray – you should get about 10 lovely scones.
Bake for approximately 20 minutes until golden and cooked through.
Serve warm or at room temperature. (see serving suggestions)

Nutritional info per Scone (Approximate):
Protein: 4.2 g
Total fat: 7.4 g
Saturated: 1.1 g
Fibre: 4 g
Carbs: 28 g
Sugars: 8.7 g
Calories: 197

Enjoy plain and simple, topped with almond or macadamia nut butter, a little manuka honey and/or whole fruit jam.

FYI: Spelt is an ancient grain that has a low gluten content so it’s better for your digestive system. It’s also a good source of protein and has around 20 %  more protein + up to 65 % more amino acids than traditional wheat flours. Wholemeal spelt as well as the oats are a good source of fibre, which help keep you regular as well as help in lowering cholesterol.

Pumpkin Spice Latte

psl

Makes 1 serving

1 cups milk
1.5 tablespoons canned pumpkin 
1 to 2 tablespoons honey or agave or coconut sugar or any other healthy sweetener
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, plus more to garnish
1 to 2 shots espresso or about 1/2 cup of strong brewed coffee
Whipped cream, to garnish

Whisk together milk, pumpkin and sugar in a saucepan and and cook on medium heat, stirring, until steaming.

Remove from heat.

Stir in vanilla and spice.

Transfer to a blender and process for 15 seconds until foamy.

(If you don’t have a blender, it’s ok,  just whisk the mixture really well with a wire whisk)

Pour into a large mug.

Add the espresso on top.

Sprinkle pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, or cinnamon on top.

psl map

Vegan Almond Joy Popcorn Recipe

Image

I recently came across a great vegan blog – Urban Vegan, and stumbled across a recipe for Vegan Almond Joy Popcorn. Although I cannot personally stand the taste or texture of popcorn, I know alot of you are always on the search for healthy snack ideas and since most of my friends and family seem to enjoy popcorn, I thought I’d post a link . Hope you enjoy! Also, make sure you check out Urban Vegan for other creative vegan recipes.

Sprouting

sprouting

I recently had a conversation with one of my neighbors about sprouting and I couldn’t help but walk away feeling as if I had to write a blog about this topic because I get the feeling not enough people know about this amazing practice. I will first disclose that I am far from an expert however I have been the beneficial recipient of sprouting for many years.

What is Sprouting?

Sprouting initiates the growth process of a seed, grain or seed-grain. When a grain is sprouted, sojme of its complex carbohyrates are broken down into simple sugars which our body has an easier time digesting. Some of the grain’s protein is also broken down into amino acids, which spares our bodies the work of breaking it down later. Most significantly perhaps, sprouting wicks away a grain, nut, or seed’s enzyme inhibitors and naturally occurring tannins which are the compounds that reside in the skin of the nuts, seeds, and grains and are extremely slow to digest. The goal of soaking and sprouting is to de-activate them, so that our bodies face no impediments when they digest and attempt to make use the food.

Sprouting, soaking, and germination aren’t the same things. Soaking and sprouting are means of optimizing absorption, but choosing not to soak or sprout won’t negate the value of your grains When you soak nuts, seeds, and grains, you break down their enzyme inhibitors. You also reduce phytic acid, a compound that binds with minerals in the grain–such as calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, and zinc–and makes it difficult for our bodies to absorb them. Soaking neutralizes the phytic acid, and “releases” those minerals for our bodies’ use. Soaking initiates germination, and if you then rinse grains and leave them in a warm, damp place, they’ll begin to sprout.

Which grains can be sprouted?

The simplest grains to sprout are wheat, kamut, spelt, barley, and rye. The most sproutable “pseudograins” — or “seed-grains,” as some people call them–are millet, amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat, and wild rice. I’ve experimented with sprouting all of these grains at home, and my favorites are quinoa, millet, and wheatberries.

sprouting 3

DIY

Place one full cup of seed-grains in a large mason jar

Fill it with 2 1/2 cups filtered water.

Let it sit, open, at room temperature for one full day (24 hours)

Drain the wheatberries and rinse them well.

Return the soaked grains to your mason jar.

Secure a paper towel or cheesecloth over the mouth of the jar with a rubber band.

Turn the jar on its side, and leave it be in a room temperature nook of your kitchen.

Let the jar sit for 12-24 hours — I almost always give it a full day. At the end of this time period, you can remove the paper towel or cloth, and you’ll see that the grains have sprouted little “tails,” like so! They are ready for consumption! You should have about 2 cups of sprouted grains ready.

Note that different grains take different amounts of time to sprout (Wheatberries take a long time compared to grains like quinoa which sprout superquick!). You will become familiar with the amount of times that different grains demand as you sprout.

How to Use Sprouted Grains

There are unlimited uses for sprouts! I’m a huge fan of spruts and often include them in my sandwiches, salads and even my shakes. I love mixing sprouted grains with fruits or veggies and almond or coconut milk for breakfast. I have even come across recipes where some grind sprouted grains and put them in cracker or bread dough.To acquaint sprouting newbies with the many amazing uses for sprouts, I provide one of my favorite recipes, courtesy of Choosing Raw.

sprouted_wheatberrysalad

Sprouted Wheatberry Salad (Makes 4 Servings)

2 cups sprouted wheatberries
1/2 cup dried apples, chopped into small pieces
2 cups shredded dino or curly kale
1 cup chopped or grated carrots
1-2 tsp agave nectar or maple syrup
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp flax oil

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.

Top with avocado:

Health Benefits of Sprouts

Research has demonstrated that sprouts likely improve cardiovascular health, prevent heart disease and stroke, improve bone mineral density, protect DNA against free radicals (Germination increases the antioxidant contents of grain thus potentially preventing cancerĂ  100 grams a day of sprouts may prevent cancer – See research from the University of Ulster) and potentially help to treat siabetes as well as Parkinsons disease, and arthrits.

According to one study from the International Journal of Applied Science, sprouts have the highest concentration of phytonutrients per calorie of any food. Phytonutrients play an active role in the amelioration of disease.

Hyped for Hummus

ImageImageImageImage

I recently came across a website that posts Hummus of the Week Recipes. Sorting through this collection of recipes, I couldn’t help but get excited to attempt making some of these unique delectable spreads, such as pizza hummus!

Some Interesting Info About Hummus:

– Hummus is an arabic word means chickpeas. The complete name of the prepared snack in arabic translates to “chickpeas with tahini” (which is a paste made from ground sesame seeds)

– The basic ingredients of hummus are: chickpeas, sesame, lemon and garlic

– Hummus is high in iron, protein, dietary fibre and vitamin C and has significant amounts of folate and Vitamin B6. Sesame seeds are a great source of the amino acid methionine

– Hummus is a COMPLETE PROTEIN when eaten with bread

 How do you like your Hummus?