Saturday, March 28, 2015

Eye Love You Good Buys

When it comes to blogging, I'm not much of a planner; I tend to just blog whatever comes to mind at the time. For example, today's blog post is a spontaneous one about Josie Maran's Good Buys and a brief mention about her Eye Love You palette.

As a Josie Maran customer, I get e-mail notifications of all the special offers, today's being a Buy One, Get One Free offer on all the Good Buys (discounted items that are most likely seasonal or discontinued). This offer is good until 4/4/15, while supplies last.

I just had to tell everyone about this offer, because I just love a Good Buy (seriously, you can score some deals), especially when you get another one free. I'm actually surprised that the Set of 5 Mini Argan Liner Pencils in still available. I got mine forever ago, and it was more than worth the $9 I spent (the original price was $30).

The set comes in 5 different colors: Black Raven, Treasure (a Greenish, Golden Brown), Chocolate (Brown), Tropical (Teal) and Violet. Here are some quick swatches I did of the colors. They are long-lasting and can be applied either as a crisp line or a smoky smudge.

These eyeliners glide on smoothly and don't tug at my aging eyes. I'll be 39-years-old next month, so it's amazing that I was willing to post this closeup of me wearing the black raven eyeliner, along with the Josie Maran Argan Triple Volume GOGO mascara.

A mini version of the mascara is also in the Good Buy section at the time that I'm writing this post (it's marked down to $8). When it comes to mascaras, I think mini versions are the way to go, if you can find them. There is enough product to last until it's either dried up or time to toss it (it's best to dispose of mascara after 3 months of use). I don't know about you, but my full-size mascaras still have a lot in them after 3 months, which makes it tempting to keep them much longer.

Since I'm on the topic of good deals on the Josie Maran site, may I also recommend the Argan Eye Love You Eye Shadow Palette for $42. It's a good price when you consider the fact that her eye shadow quads are $36. It comes in a cute mirror compact that's great for travel. The colors are flattering, too, although I wish it included a brown or bronze color. I have a tendency to incorporate a bronzer on my eyes when I use these shadows.

Okay, now I won't hold you up any longer. I wouldn't want you to miss out on these Good Buys.

*So you know, Josie Maran did not provide any of these products. I'm just a fan of the brand.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Springtime No-Bake Macaroons

My kids will be on Spring break all next week, so I wanted to post these macaroons asap. They are a sweet treat for Spring and fun to bring to an Easter gathering.

Since this blog started as a raw food blog, I feel the need to post these types of recipes from time-to-time, although I don't always eat that way. This may explain why I don't post them as often. However, when I want something sweet, I sometimes go to my kitchen to "unbake."

As the temps have started to warm and the sun is shining longer each day, I was inspired to make these no-bake macaroons in a trio of flavors, using Philosophie products. Honestly, I've been posting so many recipes with these products, because I like them (if I'm using them all the time at home, of course they'll be mentioned a lot on the blog). The Philosophie Vegan Protein & Superfood Powders, honey (my 5-year-old daughter says, "it's the goodest honey she's ever tasted") and coconut butter are some of my favorite ingredients.

As you can see, I made Cacao Magic Macaroons, Berry Bliss Macaroons and Green Dream Macaroons, forming them into a colorful sandwich style. Here's how you make the Cacao Magic Macaroons:

Start by adding 1/4 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes, 1/4 cup almond flour, 3 Tbsp. Philosophie Cacao Magic Vegan Protein & Superfood Powder, 2 Tbsp. Cacao Magic Coconut Butter, 2 Tbsp. Cacao Bee Honey (the finished macaroons are intensely sweet, so feel free to replace 1 Tbsp. of the honey with almond or cashew butter), 1/2 tsp. vanilla and a pinch of salt to a mini food processor, and process it into a sticky crumb.

Remove the macaroon "dough" from the food processor and place it on some parchment or a ceramic plate. Using the heat of your hands, form the dough into four equal sections, and shape them to look like traditional macaroons. Slice each of your macaroons in half, like a sandwich and place them in the refrigerator, while you prep the filling (and the other two flavors, if you decide to make them).

For the filling, simply soften more of the Cacao Magic Coconut Butter by stirring it and/or warming it slightly. If you are in a colder climate, you can add some coconut oil to make the coconut butter more spreadable. Once you are happy with the consistency, fill your macaroons. If you opt to make all three macaroon flavors, you'll have a perfect dozen.

To make the Berry Bliss flavor, simply swap the Cacao Magic Coconut Butter and Cacao Bee Honey for Berry Bliss Coconut Butter and Berry Bee Honey. You'll also need to replace the Cacao Magic powder with 2 Tbsp. of Berry Bliss powder and 1 Tbsp. of finely ground freeze-dried strawberries.

To make the Green Dream Macaroons, swap the coconut butter and honey with the Green Dream versions, and replace the Cacao Magic powder with 2 Tbsp. Green Dream powder and 1 Tbsp. finely ground freeze-dried pineapple.

If you don't have these particular coconut butters and honey, this recipe should work with whatever coconut butter and honey you have in your kitchen. Let me know on Twitter if you make them (I'm @Rawdorable) and if you made any substitutions.   

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Beet Lip & Cheek Stain

Happy Thursday! I recently saw this recipe for Homemade Beet Root Powder for Beet Juice, Smoothies, Natural Makeup & More on One Green Planet. The fact that it listed makeup as one of its uses, reminded me of the Beet Juice Lip & Cheek Stain I posted on my blog back in January of 2012.

If you click back to the original post, you can catch the video of my daughter and I formulating our Beet Juice Lip & Cheek Stain in our kitchen lab. It's basically fresh beet juice, with a touch of lemon juice to preserve the color and melted coconut oil to provide some moisture. We poured it into a sterilized roller ball lip gloss container for easy application, and stored it in the fridge in between uses.

If makeup DIY really isn't your thing, I also really like 100 Percent Pure's Fruit Pigmented Lip & Cheek Stain in Cherry. It's brighter than the homemade version and has more staying power. Above, you can see how it looks on my lips, and below is a swatch to get the idea of how it looks without my natural lip color underneath (the darker swatch is a heavier lip application, while the faint pink mark is a lighter cheek application).

Have you ever made your own lip & cheek stain? Do you have a favorite brand that makes one? I realize that my comments section is no longer available, but you can find me on Twitter at @Rawdorable.

*100 Percent Pure did not provide this product for review. I'm just a fan of the brand.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Do you alternate your shampoos?

For as long as I can remember, I've alternated the shampoo and conditioner with which I wash my hair throughout the week. Maybe it's because I once heard it preserves their effectiveness (your hair never gets too used to a product, causing it not to work as well), although I doubt it's true. Perhaps it's because I like to mix it up a bit, especially when I have a fondness for more than one shampoo and conditioner.

For the past 2 or 3 years, I've been washing my hair regularly with Acure Organics Argan Oil + Argan Stem Cell Shampoo and Conditioner (it's amazing on my scalp, moisturizes my hair without weighing it down and is now available at Target), and swapping it out for something different every so often (sometimes once a week, and other times as often as every other day). I'd experiment with whatever new samples came my way, and eventually settled into an alternating routine with 100 Percent Pure's line of hair care.

My favorite 100 Percent Pure shampoo and conditioner combo is the Honey & Virgin Coconut Restorative Shampoo and Conditioner. It leaves my hair soft, moisturized and smelling sweet like a baked good (must be the honey and the coconut). It keeps my scalp in balance (I work out a lot, so I feel the need to wash my hair daily; those skipping shampoo experiments were never right for me).

The Acure Organics and 100 Percent Pure products work even better when I switch back and forth between the two. I prefer the 100 Percent Pure on colder days, when my hair seems a bit parched, and opt for the Acure when I want something lighter and more clarifying. For example, during the Winter, I washed my hair more often with the 100 Percent Pure, but now that Spring has arrived, I'm reaching more for the Acure.

Do you alternate your hair care products? Which line do you use?

*I bought these products myself. I'm just a fan of the brands.

Monday, March 23, 2015

White Chocolate-Covered Cherry Blossoms

This year's National Cherry Blossom Festival is on its way to full bloom, as it kicked off this past weekend in Washington, DC. The festival runs from March 20 to April 12, 2015. In honor of this celebration, I decided to make these yummy White Chocolate-Covered Cherry Blossoms.

Basically, these lovelies are just a twist on the traditional chocolate-covered cherry. It's really just the presentation that makes them look a little like cherry blossoms.

To start, I sliced some frozen cherries in half (fresh cherries would work, as well) and cut them into "blossoms." I recommend doing only four "petals" per "blossom" to prevent them from falling apart. Place the cherry "blossoms" in the freezer, while you prepare your chocolate.  

To prepare the chocolate, I added some chopped cocoa butter to a double boiler, although you could use your favorite white chocolate.

I stirred the cocoa butter as it slowly melted (make sure your heat isn't too high; you'll need some patience with this one), and added a couple spoonfuls of honey to sweeten it (I used Philosophie Berry Bee Honey, which has Berry Bliss Vegan Protein & Superfood Powder blended into it). You can skip this step, if you opted to use sweetened chocolate.

I made sure to whisk the cocoa butter and honey mixture, so that all the chunks of cocoa butter melted and the honey was equally distributed.

When your white chocolate is ready, remove your frozen cherry "blossoms" from the freezer. Carefully, dip them one-by-one into the chocolate and place them on a chilled plate. Sprinkle the centers with finely ground freeze-dried strawberries for a finishing touch. It almost looks like pink pollen.

Allow your White Chocolate-Covered Cherry Blossoms to set in the fridge. You'll love biting into their chocolate shells to release all that juicy cherry goodness.

Since we're on the topic of Cherry Blossoms, check out this blast-from-the-past post with my recipe for an unbaked Cherry Blossom Cupcake and a craft you can do with your kids (using real flower petals to create cherry blossom art).

Is anyone planning a trip to DC to see the cherry blossoms?

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Acure Organics at Target

I've been meaning to do this post for a while, as one of my favorite organic beauty lines has been available at Target for at least a month or more. I guess I was just waiting until I had a chance to snap some pics without embarrassing my hubby too much (If you look carefully, you can catch a glimpse of him hiding in the background).

I've been a fan of Acure Organics for a couple years. I'm not sure how I heard of the brand, but I'd order their stellar products online, wishing I could just purchase them at a store. Although I've bought some items from Whole Foods (let me know if any of you were able to get a Whole Foods Hello, Beauty! bag yesterday; it actually contained Acure Organics Cell Stimulating Facial Mask, which is really good), I was looking forward to seeing Acure Organics at a store I visit more often (Whole Foods isn't at convenient for me location-wise as Target).

You have no idea how excited I was to find out that Acure would be available at Target. This line of products is certified organic, 100% natural, cruelty-free, 100% carbon neutral, FSC certified, free of synthetic fragrances and gluten-free. It's also economical and works for me.

Just look at all that was offered at my Target location. I personally like the above Cell Stimulating Body Wash and Firming Body Lotion.

I just wish they carried the Moroccan Argan Oil + Argan Stem Cell Shampoo and Conditioner. It has been a favorite of mine for quite some time. It used to have the best smell, like Amaretti cookies (must be the almond scent). I guess not everyone agreed with me about it being the best smell, so some of my more current tubes haven't had as strong of a scent. Fingers crossed that I'll find this scrumptious shampoo and conditioner on my next trip, as I'm running low.

Have you tried Acure Organics? What do you think of their products?

*I was not paid or given any product for this post. I'm just a fan of the brand. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Hello, Beauty!

Happy Friday! Hope everyone is enjoying the start to the weekend. Make sure to stop your local Whole Foods Market tomorrow (Saturday, March 21, 2015), as they'll be giving away the first-ever Whole Foods Hello, Beauty! bag at 10 a.m. "Packed with cutting-edge cosmetics and luxurious skin care, the Hello, Beauty! bag has a retail value of $60, but your local Whole Foods Market store will offer it for $18 (while supplies last)," according to this Whole Foods blog post.

The bag is reported to contain the following products, which are cruelty-free and vegan:
Derma E Microdermabrasion Scrub
Salon-quality skin treatment with Dead Sea salt and volcanic sand
Acure Cell Stimulating Facial Mask
Purify, moisturize and renew with French green clay, sea buckthorn oil and Moroccan argan stem cells
Trilogy Vital Moisturising Cream
Versatile moisturizer with rosehip seed oil, marula oil and orange flower
Gabriel Mascara
Gentle and effective formula with plant waxes and vitamin B-5
Giovanni 2chic Blackberry & Coconut Milk Ultra-Repair Shampoo
Botanical compounds pamper damaged, overprocessed hair
Pacifica Eye Shadow Duo or Lipstick
Rich, long-lasting color without parabens
I don't know about you, but I'm interested in getting my hands on one of these bags, as well as checking out some of the other beauty products available there. For example, Jen of My Beauty Bunny just did a post about her 8 Beauty Swaps from Whole Foods Market. Based on her recommendation, I might have to pick up some of Alaffia Everyday Coconut Water Toner.

Fingers crossed that I make it there tomorrow in time. Let me know if you get one of these bags before they're gone.