Tuesday, 25 February 2014

♥ Valentine's Day Baking - Hidden Heart Cake ♥

A week and a half after Valentine's Day, this post is rather belated~ Please excuse my tardiness~ (>_<) I've been a tad more social recently so it takes me out of the home quite often (^__^);; But anyway, I wanted to share this cake that I made for Valentine's Day~ It's quite easy and lovely to look at. Got it from Boulder Locavore's beautiful Hidden Heart Valentine's Pound Cake post...(。♥‿♥。)

From the local baking supplies store and supermarket I got my ingredients:

Cocoa chips + walnuts + eggs + loaf baking pan (approx. 7'' long 4'' deep)
+ edible colouring + strawberry flavoring + cake mix

Ok so I know using cake mix is quite a short cut here but I figured I might have my hands full with the technique and didn't want to have to worry about the cake recipe so I settled for something safe! Thank you Betty Crocker~

Chose Rose Pink instead of straight pink or red for a nicer colour~

Using the yellow cake mix, I put in about 15 - 20  drops of the colour paste and about 2 teaspoons of the strawberry flavoring. The flavoring intensity is of course subject to individual taste so test as you go~

My cake mix was this shade when I put it in to bake:

And came out looking like this:
Waited for the cake to cool completely before taking a knife to it. Sliced the cake into about 1'' wide pieces and used an approx. 2'' wide heart-shaped cookie cutter from Daiso to make the hidden heart slices~

Poured a small amount of the chocolate cake mix into the pan and left it for a few min to pull itself together before lining up the heart slices together and pouring the rest of the chocolate cake mix over them. This part was a little bit difficult to do on my own because there was a constant worry of the hearts slipping all over the place while I was pouring the chocolate mix in...
Scattered cocoa chips and walnuts over the top and into the oven it went:
It'll rise higher than usual because of the extra volume from the heart slices, so no worries there.
And then the moment of truth! O(≧▽≦)O
It's not as pretty as I was hoping was still pretty decent I think! Served this with some Dreyer's Roasted Almond ice cream and it was omg yum~~~~ (。-_-。 )人( 。-_-。) The Husband was also quite wow-ed and wanted to know how it was made hehe..

The only thing I would change the next time round is the choice of cake mix. Super Moist was not a good idea as the cake took much longer to bake thoroughly the 2nd round due to the already-baked heart slices that were probably in the way of the dissipating heat? The cakes had to be kept in the fridge too because they were too moist to be simply boxed and left on the dining table... (^_^;;;)
Hope you enjoyed this post~ Next time there's an occasion I'm gonna try a Hidden Rainbow cake! 

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Urban Decay Spring 2014 - Naked Ultra Nourishing Gloss

I recently came into ownership of a few products that have yet to hit the local market =D So~ whee! I'm quite excited to review them~

This~~~ is the Naked Ultra Nourishing Gloss from Urban Decay's Spring 2014 collection~ Already available in the States of course, this range of nourishing lip glosses come in 9 'Naked' shades (varying natural shades) and is touted as 'Like a luxe balm and a rich gloss in one, it’s laced with ingredients that are good for your skin—like Hyaluronic Filling Spheres™, vitamin E, avocado oil and shea butter to hydrate and condition your lips. Rosehip seed oil provides an extra hit of vitamins, including vitamin A and vitamin C.' (extracted from Urban Decay) The formula is also vegan and free of parabens, sulphates and phthalates.

Set to retail at S$32, I have to say, the packaging is pretty gorgeous~

Love the cut-out NAKED!!

So easy to spot in the sea of black packaging in my makeup bag~

From top: Lovechild and Nude

Lovechild is described as a 'Medium Pink' and Naked, a 'Nude-Pink with pearly pink shift'.

I expected Lovechild to be a tad brighter but the swatches proved otherwise. Naked was..well...naked with only a very light hint of colour so it's mostly gloss effect. Lovechild too, was surprisingly sheer.

From left: Lovechild and Naked

The brush is a slim, slanted paddle applicator that doesn't pick up too much gloss from the tube so no worries about a gloppy mess on your applicator~

One layer of gloss was quite enough for me since I'm not usually a lip gloss wearer...too much shine and stickiness isn't really my thing...
Decided to give Lovechild a whirl!
Aside from a slight pink tone to my lips, it's pretty much all gloss factor. Personally, I quite like the colour because I'm very much a nude/au naturale kinda girl but this is probably disappointing for fans expecting a little more.
The gloss was also unfortunately a tad sticky in the beginning..such that strands of my hair would stick to my mouth if the wind blew but it seemed to settle in after some time and stopped being so sticky.
Here's another shot where you can see the gloss factor abit better.

You can also see the slight pink it lends to my lips, quite pretty actually ^^ But touchups are required after meals because the gloss just disappears even though I tried to be careful. I did notice that my lips were not as dry in between touchups though, so the nourishing factor does count!
In a nutshell, Urban Decay's new Ultra Nourishing Gloss:
  • comes in a gorgeous packaging that's both decorative and functional
  • 9 shades of nude - Versatile or Boring, it's subjective
  • smells abit like playdough...but only noticeable if you stick your nose right at the tube
  • product is a tad sticky upon initial application but seems to settle in after awhile
  • covers slightly dry lips nicely with a luscious gloss that doesn't feel heavy on the lips
  • nourishing formula helps lips stay moist-looking after the product is wiped off or eaten =P
  • definitely requires touchups after meals, staying power doesn't seem to be a strong factor here

In all honesty, while I think it's pretty and all, it's unlikely I'd purchase this since it really doesn't pack much of a 'wow' factor in any area. *sigh*