Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Heavenly cookies....

I think I just found the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe!! Actually, it's a recipe for peppermint chocolate chip cookies and they are DELICIOUS!

Now, I'm not a big cook, but I love to bake. Cookies, cupcakes, cakes, brownies, anything sweet, I'll (try to) do it. I LOVE sugar and chocolate. Sometimes, I even dream about desserts and brownies...

Seriously. What would this world be without chocolate and sugar?! I don't even want to think about it.

I stumbled upon this recipe from Une Gamine dans la Cuisine last week and I just had to try it!

They have a soft, chewy-gooey melty chocolate center with a light thin crisp around the edges.

I made a batch (approximately 20 cookies) and made half of them super fat or "puffy" and the other hald thinner, so that my "guests" can pick which kind they like better.

I love the hint of mint and it's a perfect twist to the good ol' chocolate chip cookie.

  • 1 ½ cups of all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. of salt
  • ¼ tsp. of baking soda
  • ½ cup of butter at room temperature
  • ½ cup of tightly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup of granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp. of peppermint extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of chopped dark chocolate.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In larger bowl, beat the butter and sugars togerther on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). On low speed, slowly add the beaten egg and peppermint extract. Beat to combine, scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Add the flour mixture and beat just until there are no more streaks of flour. Stir the chopped dark chocolate by hand. Cover and refrigerate for an hour. (You do not have to chill the dough if you are in a hurry)

Preheat the oven to 375F. Line the baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop out well rounded tablespoonfuls of the dough and roll them into balls. Leave about 2 inches between each ball. Bake for 8-9 minutes. If you prefer crispier cookies, increase the baking time by 1-2 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before removing.

The recipe calls for baking soda, but I used baking powder instead and it was still as delicious as ever! I know substituting baking soda for baking powder can change the texture but I thought the final result was pretty good.

Also, I heard that using mint extract tastes better than with peppermint extract (I used mint and peppermint extract, since that's the only type I could find). I guess you could also substitute the mint/peppermint extract with vanilla. It all depends on what you have and prefer.

These cookies were soo good! I think you should all bake a batch!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Gifts, Santa and my holiday mani

Hi all! I hope you all had a joyful holiday and got all that you asked Santa for!

Family+Gifts+Food+Eat+Wine+Pictures+Eat+Family+Food+Eat+Champagne+Eat+Eat+Beer pretty much sums up my entire weekend. It seems like every time there's a family reunion, all we do is eat and drink. We're a bunch of alcoholic pigs, I tell ya!

I wasn't able to do a nice holiday mani like I wanted, since I had to wrapped presents for my mom and dad. When I agreed to do it, I wasn't expecting that many gifts to wrap...

However, I was able to put on GOSH Silver, a beautiful silver foil.

Also, I just baked so deliiiiiicious cookies! That'll be in a future post..

Monday, December 21, 2009

Orly Spring 2010 Bloom Collection

Look at what the mailman left for me this morning!!!

I got my package from TransDesign: the complete Orly Spring 2010 Bloom Collection! I was so excited, I hadn't bought nail polish in a while and I was aching to get my fix.

Needless to say, I got to swatching right away. Quick swatches and comparison ahead..

Let's start with my least favorite from this collection.

Ginger Lily - burnt orange shimmer. I actually like this color but it doesn't "excited" me.

Blushing Bud - Hot Pink creme. I don't normally like pink-or hot pink- but this one is beautiful. The picture is not really color accurate: it's a tad darker in real life.

Thorned Rose - A dark raspberry creme.

Wild Wisteria - blurple creme. This one is gorgeous. You can see it's purple in all lighting, not black. The first picture is to show you the purple base.

Pure Petunia - Violet creme. Very pretty.

Wandering Wine - gorgeous green creme. This has got to be my favorite from this collection! It's absolutely beautiful!

And now for the comparisons

Pinkie and Middle: Orly Enchanted Forest
Ring and Index: Wandering Wine

Wandering Wine is greener, lighter and less muted. In my opinion, between these 2, Wandering wine is the winner!

Index and Ring: Orly Pure Petunia
Middle: OPI Pamplona Purple
Pinkie: $OPI Domestic Goddess Matte

Pamplona Purple and Pure Petunia is pretty similar, the latter is more pinkish and is lighter in color.

Index: RBL Atame
Middle and Pinkie: Orly Thorned Rose
Ring: Essie Wicked

Thorned Rose has a hint of pink, whereas Atame and Wicked are more red.

Pink and Middle: Zoya Pinta
Index and Ring: Orly Wild Wisteria

In my book, these two are dupes. There might be some slight differences, but you can't really see them unless you really look into it. To be honest, I almost got confused about which color was on which finger.

Overall, I really like this collection. The colors are gorgeous, not necessarily unique, but I still love them all. It seems like the whole collection just goes really well together, all the colors "belong there" and it feels complete. Application was effortless, the formula was very pigmented and the consistency was remarquable. It was perfect: not too thick, but not runny either. Most of the swatches required only 2 coats, except for Thorned Rose, which took 3 coats.

I don't know what was the official launch date for this collection, but it is now avaible on TransDesign and Head2Toe beauty

Nu Nails

I emailed Nubar about the color differences between my 2 Nu Nails bottles Sunday and got their response today! Yay for quick customer service! Here's what the email says:

"Dear Xuan-An,

The color difference that you noticed has nothing to do with effect or performance; it is the same formula, it is just that we tried improving the product to make it more appealing to our clientele, and hence the different color.
If I can help you in any other way please let me know."

I actually like the white color more... but whatever floats their boat ;)

Nubar Avant-Garde

Happy Monday!

I hope you all had a great weekend!

I needed to do a quick manicure before going shopping, so I grabbed a bottle of matte nail polish by Nubar. This one is called Avant-Garde, from the Fall 2009 Modern Matte Collection. It's a beautiful burgundy shimmer.

This matte polish was easy to apply and dried fairly quickly, not as quick as OPIs, but I prefer Nubar, since it was easier to control and allowed room for error.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

OPI Russian Navy Matte

Happy Saturday!! The weekend is finally here, and Christmas is less than a week away!!

I resisted pulling out another purple polish from my stash and so closed my eyes and randomly pulled out OPI Russian Navy Matte instead. I don't have the original to compare it to, but I can tell you it lacks the pretty shimmer the original has. As for most matte nail polish, this is a bit thicked and dried fairly quickly.

A real matte navy:

I thought it missed a little "umph" so proceeded to add a coat of Nfu Oh 50, a beautiful flaky polish.

There you go!!! Much better!!!! These flakies always make plain, boring nail polish so much more exciting!

Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Winter-y Manicure

So I promised something different and here it is!!!

It didn't turn out as great as I had hoped. It looked so much better in my head!

I used Orly Cashmere Cardigan as a base then stamped the snow flake from Konad plate M20 in white, silver and gold. Here's the final result:

Right Hand
Left Hand

Now I think I'm ready to face to cold weather! :)
Have a good day!

Hmm is this normal??

I just received a new bottle of Nubar Nu Nail and something seemed... off...

It's yellow!! Is this normal?! My first bottle was white...
Anybody else has a yellow bottle?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

OPI Pamplona Purple

I just realized this is my 3rd purple post in a row, so you guys are probably saying "Another purple?!?!" it's okay.. next one will not be purple, I promise.
I just love purple nail polish so much!!

Last Saturday, my grandparents came over for dinner and I got to do my grandma's nails! She chose OPI Pamplona Purple. A gorgeous purple creme from the Spain collection. I didn't have time to take a picture of it on her, but not to worry, I decided to do the same color on my own nails because it was just so pretty!

It's almost Christmas, guys!! I've been thinking about what color I'm gonna be doing for the holiday!
Any ideas?? What are you doing for you Holiday mani?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Orly Happily Ever After

GUYSSSS!! I went shopping Yesterday! It's so chaotic!!! I never would've thought that the mall would be THAT packed on a Tuesday morning!
Lesson learned: next year, I will do my Christmas shopping earlier!!

This is Orly Happily Ever After, a beautiful raspberry shade with a dark purple shimmer that is veeery subtle. My pictures are not the best.. The next one was supposed to show you the shimmer, but you can barely see it.. Please excuse the tipwear! It's absolutely beautiful.

Not important, but I've always had difficulty with the name "Orly". I keep saying "Oh Really" haha.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Rescue Beauty Lounge

So I'm pretty sure you guys all heard about the Rescue Beauty Lounge 50% off event.

Luckily, I was able to get home from my exam on time to buy me some goodies!!!
I wasn't supposed to buy a lot..... but I just couldn't resist!! I'm a sucker for sales, even more for nail polishes on sale!! In addition, I knew international shipping is crazy, but I just heard that my aunt is going to the States next week, so I was able to get it shipped for $8.50 instead of $38.50!!

I spent so much time to decide on which ones I was going to get. I tried to limit myself to only 4 and at one point, had 8 in my cart!! In the end, I settled with 6 bottles haha... Anyways.. who knew spending money like that would make me that happy?!

Here's what i got:
Dead Calm
Black Russian
Au Chocolat
Drifter and

I can't wait to get them!!! I wanted to get Recycle too, but I have Orly Bloom Collection from TransDesign coming, and I didn't want to end up with 2 similar greens.. Hope I won't regret not getting it!

What did you guys get? Please share!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Zoya Lael

It's almost Christmas time!!

I hope you all did your holidays shopping! I didn't... yet. Everytime I go to the mall, I end up buying for myself, which is not good!!!

Lael is described as a rich eggplant plum cream. I'll just add "gorgeous" to that.:)

It's a shame I can't find any Zoyas around here. I really like their range of color and their formula. Fortunately, I have family in the States so I can get my annual dose of Zoya!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

China Glaze Spontaneous

I just learned today that tickets for my favourite musician, Patrick Watson, are sold out for his show in Montreal. Bummer..... I was really looking forward to it. I guess that's what happens when you procrastinate!! I should've bought the tickets on the day they were available for sale....

Anywho.... here's a pretty purple shade, China Glaze Spontaneous!

2 coats, smooth application.

So Christmas is fast approaching!! What's on everyone's wishlist?
I have some nail polishes, some rings (my new addiction), Cormac McCarthy's The Road (book) and a Canon G11! (and a lot more...)

Friday, December 4, 2009

China Glaze Street Racing

Happy Friday!
Class is finally over, now I only have to survive my 5 exams and then Hallelujah! VACATIONS! Can't wait!

Anyways today I have China Glaze Street Racing from the Retro Diva Collection.

2 coats. Beautiful burnt orange metallic frost. I really like this one-- makes me think of the trees' orange leaves in autumn.

You can easily get this one from your favorite etailers.

Have a great weekend!

OPI No Room for the Blues

Aah how I miss summer days. They are announcing a snowstorm tomorrow (25+cm of snow) for the Montreal area... I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my exam is cancelled, but I doubt that will happen...

This is OPI No Room for the Blue from the Brights Collection. Very pigmented and easy to apply. Love this shade!

Thursday, December 3, 2009



I had so much fun yesterday! After last week, I think it was much needed.

On Sunday night, the Montreal Alouettes won the Grey Cup (Canadian equivalent of the Super Bowl). It was their 7th time playing in the finals in 10 years, but only their 2nd time winning it!!!

Yesterday was the Champions' parade in downtown Montreal. Let me tell you, the streets were PACKED! and it was a weekday!! I was able to join my friends to cheer on our champions!

Here are some pictures:
Number one!!!

Jamel Richardson hoisting the cup

The crowd

Anthony Calvillo saying a few words


Ben Cahoon talking after much cheering/screaming from the crowd

Come back for one more year, Cahoon!

The Champions

I had so much fun screaming and cheering for my hometown's football team! I'm not a huge fan of football, but I do follow it from time to time, so it was very amusing to be able to witness this! Montreal Impact (soccer) won the Canadian championship, now the Als win the Grey Cup, now we only need the Stanley Cup!! :P

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

New KO Polish

Has anyone seen this in real life or tried it?

It's KnockOut Cosmetics' newest matte polish, called Plaster. I was thinking about getting a KO polish yesterday, so I went on their website and saw this.
I guess "Plaster" is a pretty appropriate name; from what I see from the picture, it's a skin-colored polish. I wonder if it'll look good- keeping in mind that it's matte- or if it'll just look like I don't have nails... I'm thinking that it can either be gorgeous or a total fail..

What do you guys think?! Yay or Nay?

Btw, I can't believe it's snowing here already!! I was soo surprised Monday when I woke up and saw that everything was white outside!!! Come back sun and summer! Come back!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Still alive..

Hey Guys!!!

I can't believe I haven't updated since last week!! Even worse, I didn't even change my mani!!! Fortunately, it didn't chip much...

My last week was the week of hell!!! I had a marketing presentation, an report for accounting, a 20 pages managerial economics report to write, a stats assignment, a 3h accounting tutorial...... All done now, so I have time for my nails :)... at least until exams begin...

So here's my last week's mani:
Sally Hansen Project Runway with Essie Matte about You.

Sorry for the blurry picture..You can't really see the color properly here, so here's another picture of PR with glossy top coat that I took some time ago.

This one is from the Mode Collection, I had wrote a full review of the collection here

Alright, now back to studying..
Have a great week!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

OPI Can You Tapas This?

This was yesterday's mani! I had my marketing presentation and had forgotten to change my nail color (it was green) so I had to wake up early to do it! Haha my parents definitely thought I was crazy!

Anyways, I chose OPI Can You Tapas This?, from the Spain Collection, released for Fall.

Beautiful red-brown creme. This color definitely screams "fall" to me! I really like this one! The formula on this one was thinner than most of the OPI I have, but it was still pretty good. Pictured was 3 coats, although it could easily have been 2.

So I'm finally done with my Marketing presentation/product development! Hooray! No more group meetings!! As much as I love my teammates, seeing them everyday for 3-4 hours straight was just too much for me :) Hopefully we'll get a good grade!

Have a great day!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Nfu-Oh 274

This is probably one of my favorite polishes that I currently own.
It's just gorgeous!!!!!

Nfu274 is a beautiful dark greenish teal (or teal-ish green). It's a tad darker in real life, compared to the picture, but still beautiful nonetheless.

I've always loved Nfu-Oh's bottle because they're so pretty! I didn't think of taking any pictures, so I'll just describe it to you: it's a cute little corset dress! The corset part is the handle and there even detailing on the back!
The formula is pretty good too: it's pigmented, easy to apply, smooth and perfect consistency.

Nfu-Oh can be bought from FabulouStreet for $12.50 USD/$13.82 CND a bottle (free shipping within the US)!

Have a great week!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Zoya Kalista

Boy am I glad my first semester at University is almost over... It's been chaotic!!
Right now, I'm not sure if I want to stay in the same program anymore, but we'll see...

Anyways. This is my mani from 2 days ago, so please excuse the tip wear! It's been two full days of typing on the computer and doing statistics...

Beautiful reddish brown shimmer! I absolutely love this, and I don't normally wear brown (whether it's nail polish or clothes). Zoya's formula is also great so I have no complaints there!

Have a fun weekend!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Orly Purple Velvet and Konad M60

Here's Purple Velvet by itself:

And now with Konad M60:

I used OPI Suzi Skies in the Pyrenees Suede for the checkered pattern. I didn't use any top coat though since I wanted to keep the matte look, but during my sleep, the pattern got rubbed off and I woke up with half konaded nails :(.
Next time, I'll use Essie Matte about You.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Diamond Cosmetics Giddy

This polish deserves the award for the worst formula ever!!! (in my stash, anyways)
It was goopy, it was runny yet thick and very hard to control!
and on top of that, a bad top coat!! gaaarrgghhh. I tried this on Tuesday night and took it off Wednesday morning.

Giddy: a pastel powder blue creme. The color is not very exciting. It's almost white with a little hint of blue. I didn't bother Konading or even with cleanup because I knew I had to take it off the next morning...

As for the top coat, I used Essie Good to Go fast drying top coat and there were lots of shrinkage and bubbles! I think my bottle thickened a bit, so that would explain why it was so hard to apply properly. You can clearly see on shrinkage the tips of my fingers.

You can get Diamond Cosmetics here for only $2.00 (USD) a bottle!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I admit, I am a...


Oh my god. I have to say, Glee is the best, most adorable, cutest, makes you smile all the time TV show there is right now!!! Gahh Whenever I'm watching Glee, I'm always smiling like an idiot.

It's ridiculous how cute this cast is! I love every single one of the characters!

Puck is ridiculously HOT
Kurt is fierce
Artie is a cutie pie!!
Rachel is such a snob, I love it
Mercedes - oh god, can this girl sing!
Finn is so awkward, you can't help but love him
Quinn is gorgeous
Tina is just adorable
Mr. Schue -hottest teacher I've ever seen
Sue S. is AMAZING!! Cracks me up every time
And the rest of the cast is just as good as the people mentioned here!

The dancing, the singing, the colors.. If I could choose an ideal world to live in, it would be Glee world. Seriously.

picture from fanpop.com

If you haven't watched a Glee episode yet, I strongly urge you to!! Everybody needs a bit of Glee in their lives.... If you don't have time to watch it, go get they're CD!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sally Hansen HD Cyber

Another purple!! Yay!

The color here is not very accurate, since it's so hard to capture purple correctly, but it's the most true-to-life I could get.

Released this summer, I believe, from their HD line, this is Cyber, a nice purple shimmer.

It's definitely summery! It's very vivid and I consider it a "happy purple".

Application was nice, the only complaint I have here is the brush... It's not the brush itself but the length of the plastic stem (I know I don't have to right word here but I can't find the right one to use). The distance from the handle to the brush was way too long for me. I'm not used to such a long brush....

Monday, November 16, 2009

NOTD: Rescue Beauty Lounge Purple Haze

Happy Monday!
I have a busy week ahead of me getting ready for my Marketing presentation... HAPPY TIMES!

Anyways, I have sooo many purple polishes that I've never tried, I randomly picked two in a row this week. Usually, when that happens, I always go back to my untrieds box and pick another one...

I'll start with the latest one I've had on my nails, which is also my nail of the day!

As I've said many times before, Rescue Beauty Lounge's formulas are simply perfection, so I'm not gonna say anything more.

Purple Haze is a beautiful purple creme. I thought I had one pretty close to this color in my stash, but I was wrong. Very unique, I'd say.

I'm off to do more research for our project. We must NAIL this presentation because there is no way in hell I'll be able to get a good mark in the final. ;)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sally Hansen Honeydew

This one is from last week. I picked one up from my untrieds bin and surprise, surprise, it was Honeydew, from the Tracy Reese Spring 2009 collection!!!

I was going to put a top coat until I spotted my Essie Matte about You.

This is Honeydew without top coat (with bad bathroom light):

and here it is with Matte about You:

Beautiful turquoise shimmer. It's absolutely gorgeous. I think I'll be grabbing this one a lot, despite the craptastic formula. It was pretty bad..... but at least the color kinda makes up for it :)

I know this one was kinda hard to find-I still have never seen it sold in Montreal. I was lucky enough to get this in a swap :) Gotta love swaps!

Enjoy your weekend!