Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Pumpkin Spice Fudge


It's Fall and that means that it's pumpkin season. Woohoo! I don't know about you guys but I get really excited when Trader Joe's begins to sell all things pumpkin.

 At my latest Trader Joe's trip I went a little pumpkin crazy. I picked up pumpkin tea's, pumpkin coffee, breakfast bars, pumpkin cream cheese spread, pumpkin pancake mix, pumpkin butter, and of course pumpkin puree. Last night I decided to try an amazingly easy recipe for Pumpkin Spice Fudge and it turned out great. In the spirit of sharing and not overindulging I shared my home made treats with co-workers today and they all loved it. Here's a quick recipe that satisfies your love for sweets and pumpkin. Happy Fall. =)

Ingredients

3 cups brown sugar

3/4 c. butter (no substitutions)

2/3 c. evaporated milk

1/2 c. pumpkin puree

1 1/2 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice

1 (12 oz.) pkg. white chocolate chips

1 (7 oz.) jar Marshmallow creme or melt marshmallows

1 c. chopped pecans or macadamia nuts (optional)

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract


Directions

Butter a 9 x 13 baking dish. Combine the first 6 ingredients in a heavy saucepan: cook over medium heat until the sugars dissolve, then continue cooking until the mixture begins to boil, stirring constantly.

Boil until a candy thermometer reaches the the soft-ball stage (234 ~ 243 degrees). Remove from heat, stir in the white chips until they are all melted and mixture is smooth. Add the remaining ingredients, mix well.


Pour into prepared pan, and cool to room temperature. Cut into squares, store refrigerated in an air tight container. Makes approx. 60 pieces.

Note: The total boiling time is around 30 minutes.


Friday, October 25, 2013

Sleeping Beauty ~ The Best Beauty Tips & Tricks To Use While You Sleep


This post is all about giving new meaning to the words beauty sleep. Like most busy women I love to multitask. As I type this blog I'm cooking dinner and watching James Bond on Bravo. We multitask for most of the day so why not do it at night while you sleep. Today, I’m sharing great overnight beauty tips that will help you wake up with soft supple skin, bright beautiful eyes, healthy looking hair and soft sexy feet. Enough babbling let's get straight to the tips starting from head to toe...

Repair
 Your Hair

Every night I apply a leave-in conditioner or moisturizer then seal it on by using an oil. Doing this ensures healthy hydrated hair. While you sleep the conditioner/ moisturizer is absorbed into the hair and the thin layer of oil seals in the moisture you just placed on your hair.  My oils of choice rotates between  Coconut oil, Jojoba oil, Almond oil, Jamaican black castor oil, and Grape seed oil. If you have very fine/thin hair then I'd suggest you only use the oil once a week. I tend to use oil to seal in the moisture about 3 times a week but I moisturize my hair every single night. Another tip would be to ditch the cotton pillow cases. Swap the moisture sucking cotton for a silk or satin pillow case. Satin/silk cases feels amazing on your skin but most importantly it reduces frizz and it doesn't suck out as much moisture from your hair as cotton pillow cases do. Using your satin pillowcase ensures that the newly applied hair product gets a chance to fully penetrate into your hair cuticles creating optimum moisture and hair health.You can pick up these pillowcases from most beauty supply stores or just order it from Amazon.

 Lengthen Those Lashes


Lashes are often neglected and mistreated. Think about it, most of us clean it, drown it in mascara, squeeze it with eye lash curlers and repeat that cycle daily. Well its time to show some much needed TLC to your lashes by pampering them at night.  Castor oil is an amazing oil that thickens, lengthens, and strengthens your lashes. Get a mascara wand ( I get mine from eyeslipsface.com) and simply coat your lashes with a little bit of castor oil. Do this right before you hit the sack and be sure not to use too much as it could get into your eyes and cause burning.  Doing this simple routine consistently will result in healthier longer lashes within a month or two. Consistency is key.
 
De-puff
 The Eyes 



To help prevent puffy eyes, prop up your head on two pillows when you go to sleep. Gravity is your friend when it comes to fluid retention and of course, don’t forget your eye cream. One of my favorite under eye tricks is to use Vitamin E oil. I lightly tap a bit of the oil on my under eye area. No tugging or pulling now; be gentle. Another great product for the under eye area is RoC Retinol Correxion Sensitive Eye Cream. I'm a sucker for most RoC products. Don't judge me. 
Brighten
 Your Skin

It’s best to apply any face products that have brightening ingredients like retinol and vitamin C at night. Sunlight can actually deactivate them and prevent them from working to their fullest potential.  I have extremely oily, acne prone skin so I get scars from acne. I've noticed that exfoliating then using moisturizers with retinol and vitamin C at night has made a great difference in the tone and appearance of my skin. Acne scars disappear so much quicker using this regimen.  My skin looks cleaner, clearer, and younger. #Winning 


 Prevent Pesky Wrinkles


Sleeping on a cotton pillowcase can create wrinkles. Instead, pamper yourself by investing in a silk or satin one. It will lessen the pressure on your skin and help prevent hair breakage as previously mentioned. Also using a good moisturizer with retinol and collagen works wonders. 

Get Pearly Whites


For an easy DIY whitening treatment, try brushing with baking powder at night. Brush with a baking soda paste and rinse with hydrogen peroxide. This is a perfect night time beauty treatment. While you sleep the baking soda and hydrogen peroxide whitens and whitens effectively because you're not eating or drinking while you sleep. Just make sure that you don't do this too many days out of the week. I'd suggest no more than 3 times.  


 Moisturize
 Your Body

Ladies, take note: A humidifier is a must have for winter must haves. Turn on  your humidifier before you sleep (this works best during colder months because the air is drier) and let it work its magic. The humidifier instills the air with moisture, which in turn helps plump your skin and keep it hydrated.  

Care For Your Cuticles
Nail beds looking dry? Apply cuticle cream or oil before you sleep. Doing this often will ensure that you’ll wake up to healthy, hydrated nail beds. My favorite oil for moisturizing my cuticles is sweet almond oil. Sweet almond oil is one of those oils that I use for my skin and my hair, it's amazing. You can also use a very inexpensive cuticle pen from eyeslipsface.com. When I say inexpensive I mean it, the cuticle pen is only $1.00. You're welcome ladies. =)    

 Soften Your Feet
My favorite DIY deep moisturizing foot lotion is a combination of baby lotion, vitamin E, and petroleum jelly. Here's what I do... While I shower I lightly rub a pumice stone on the bottom of my feet. After my shower while my feet are a little damp ( not completely wet just damp) I slather on my moisturizer. After my feet have been moisturized I put on my socks and let the moisturizer do it's job. The socks help bind the moisture to your feet and you’ll wake up with soft, smooth soles. If your feet are really dry and cracked I'd recommend that you moisturize your feet with the 3 ingredient super moisturizing concoction, wrap your feet in saran wrap, and then slip it into your favorite pair of fuzzy socks. Yes, I know it sounds weird but the saran wrap works. Using socks works but it's made from fabric and fabric absorbs. Using the barrier of saran plastic ensures that nothing but your feet absorbs the moisture. The fuzzy socks aren't necessary but they're cute and sooo soft. 

So there you have it ladies. A few of my favorite night-time multitasking, beautifying tips and tricks. Try these and you be feeling and looking like a real life sleeping beauty...

Bonne nuit mon amie...

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Midnight Musings ~ Beating The Turning 30 Blues

Today, October 23rd…I turned 30. There were no fireworks, no big bang, no gray hairs (Thank you God) no bells and whistles…just peace and thankfulness and admittedly a tinge of regret for some of the craziness I got myself into in my 20’s but most of all, I’m just happy to see another beautiful sunset, although, I was happy to see one yesterday AND the day before…etc.

These past few weeks, I’ve been thinking a lot about turning 30 and what I want in my life, who I want to be, and what is important to me. Many of these things form, grow and transform as we age and grow wiser, but there are also choices and pathways to be made, and carved, along the way.

I’ve been thinking about how deeply thankful I am for the things that are in my life, that I find places of peace and rest, and that I'm finally on my way to knowing myself well and deeply, finally I actually love who and where I am.

I’ve also thought a lot about the person I want to be moving forward. I always want to be made new, sloughing off those things which are selfish, discordant, unproductive, and negative in nature etc, and developing character that brings peace and good to myself and loved ones. 

I want to think deeply about what things will be important to me, which things won’t, which things I do and don’t want to identify myself with, who I want to be as a friend, daughter, human, and partner, what qualities are vitally important in my relationships. What I want to spend my work time and spare time doing, what I want to create, etc etc etc.

I don’t want to be a person bound by what others think of me, or by insecurity, or by fear of risk. I want to be a person known for their kindness, gentleness, sincerity, and love. I want to be a lover of those things which are substantial and good. I want to remember that anger is poisonous. I want my patience to know no end (I am not there, not even close at the moment). I don’t want to be afraid to develop deep relationships. 
 
I want to know a small group of people well, and be known fully be them. The thought of letting someone in fully has always been terrifying to me and it still is but at least now I'm opening my mind and heart to the possibility. I want to always love the small things, the things that others miss. I want to always find rest in nature, and always remember the glory of God in nature, and in people. I want to do whatever I do to the best of my ability- whether it’s work, or friendships, or motherhood, or life. I want to learn how to foster an even better relationship with my mom. I want to travel. I want to write more. I want to get a real camera and take photos, capture my life in it's entirety without fear of not liking what I see.

I want to swim in the ocean, skydive, and climb a mountain. I want to be a beautiful and gracious partner, and be loved by someone who is fully and completely committed to me and finds it a joy to be so. I want to dance every day. Every day. I want to own my own house, with a huge library with wooden shelves filled with books from floor to ceiling. I want to be more flexible (both physically and with my schedule). I want to cultivate spontaneity (paradoxical though, it seems). I want to learn to love my hair, my skin, my weight, and my body no matter what, and know that those things don’t define me. I want to read more, and really engage with what I’m reading.

I want to give generously. I want to be slow to anger. I don’t want to interrupt. I want to always make a difference in my work. I want to have children and teach them about love, forgiveness, joy, appreciating the small things, and being compassionate to those in need. I want to truly understand what Jesus said about people, salvation, and redemption, and act accordingly. I want to care less about who may not think I’m cool. I want to make my family proud.

I want to be wise, be free, and be good (down to my core). I want to learn every day. I want to be ok with being wrong. I want to communicate better. I want to risk in love again. I want to sing out loud more. I want to always try new things. I want to laugh out loud more. Like, really loud. =) I want to pray in all things. I want to always be young at heart, with an old wise soul. I want to catch a fish in my hand, and then set it free. I don’t want to be bound by productivity but still live a productive life. I want to speak kindly at all times, especially when I'm angry. I want to learn how to be firm and still gentle. I want to publish my paper. I want to sit by a fire every evening in the fall with a blanket, a good book, and a warm drink. And I want to hug people really well, so that they'll know that I mean it.

Someone asked me if I could have done my 20’s over, what would I have done differently…my response…LOVE MYSELF COMPLETELY. That’s it. Loving me…I mean REEEEALLLY loving Crystal. Love my big lips, big head, and wide grin. Love my body when it was big, small, and everything in between. I would have embraced my quirks, my imperfections, and sometimes give in to my impulses. I would have been more selective about who I loved, and gave my heart and time to. I would have recognized that although I'm flawed I'm still a wonderful person worth loving. My 20's was a time of a lot of hurt, confusion, and self hate. I never thought that I was smart enough, fun enough, pretty enough, loveable enough. I would want to be anyone but me and because of that self hate I was a miserable girl. Although I fell into a rabbit hole of emotional misery I was very good at smiling and helping others with an air of confidence while I felt dead inside. What can I say; I was a good faker. =(     
 
Not truly loving me, allowed me to attract negative beings who didn’t love themselves and who could therefore never truly love me. After all, hurt people…hurt people. I’m not just talking romantic relationships, I’m talking about friendships as well. Recognizing my own light didn’t come until recently and by then mistakes had been made and bad habits created. The key however is that I now  know that I can overcome this. I now know that it’s NEVER too late to recognize my light, my love, my passion and live fully without fear. In this new chapter in my life I aim to find myself, embrace myself! Cherish myself! I truly beleive that loving yourself and changing the quality of your thoughts creates an environment of chnage that will influence just about every facet of your life.  It’s a somewhat laborious journey, but it’s sooo worth it.

In a way though, all of those things have kept me humble, it has allowed me to speak with transparency, and to have compassion for those who have dealt with the same. With all of the bad, there has been plenty of good, I attained my undergraduate and graduate degrees and began working on my PhD. I have a great job and started an online business where I've sold merchandise to women all over the world. I’ve established wonderful friendships with people from all walks of life, I’ve been able to hone my craft and reconnect with my love for art and literature. I’m resilient, always have been and for that I’m truly grateful.

I’m in a good place…not that that things can’t be better. I’m ALWAYS striving for better but I’m good.

Today, just like birthday’s passed, I read birthday cards and messages of love and I smile while a tear rolls down my cheek. I realize that even with worldly accomplishments and material items there's still nothing better than the love returned by the ones you love, that feeling is the best gift ever. Here’s to another year of things that are good and true, one year wiser and with a fuller hopeful heart.

Here's to living, learning, growing, evolving, laughing & loving…

Happy Birthday to me.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Avoid High Heating Bills This Winter- Tips To Winterize Your Home

What's scarier than Halloween? Your electric bill during the winter months. Yikes! The temperature has been fluctuating between the 50's and the 70's here in Baltimore and it's only October. I'm a tropical person so anything below 60 is cold to me. This drop in temperature has been the impetus for me to get started on winterizing my apartment. Whether you own a home or you're renting the following tips will assist you in winterizing your home and will lower your heating costs this winter.


Check For Cracks

Homes, whether new or old, often have cracks and openings around doors and windows. These gaps are a major source of heat loss and can account for up to one-third of your home’s overall heating cost. That’s why it's an absolute must that you apply caulk and weather stripping around your doors and windows. Heating and cooling costs account for nearly half of home utility expenses, and poor sealing is a huge contributing factor when it comes to those costs. When you consider that even a tiny gap around a typical entryway door is the equivalent of drilling a 5 inch hole through an outside wall, closing that gap is well worth the effort. 

When you’re checking for leaks, some are pretty easy to detect, like the crack of light beneath the front door on a sunny day, or the rush of cool air coming from a window on a blustery day. But there are far less obvious leaks that may take some creativity to discover. One tip to finding those pesky hidden leaks of air is to close all the doors and windows in your home. Then light a stick of incense and pass it along the edges of your doors and windows. Wherever the smoke is sucked out or blown into the room, there’s a leak.  Now let's get to the nitty gritty of fixing your insulation issues.
Bubble Wrap Insulation 

Who knew that bubble wrap can add up to warmth and savings. Quit popping your bubble wrap or worse yet please don't throw it away. Using bubble wrap is an amazingly simple and cost effective way to insulate your house/ apartment. In the pictures you can see that I bought clear tape and 1ft by 6ft rolls of bubble wrap from my local Dollar Tree. I first rolled out two 6ft rolls side by side and taped down the middle. I actually bought 10 rolls. (Hehe don't judge me) I use bubble wrap for insulating and for mailing out shipments of merchandise that I sell so I stock up on it when I go to the store. Simply get your bubble wrap cut it to fit your window and attach it by spraying water to your window and pressing the bubble wrap on the wet window. Be sure to put the bubble wrap on when the window is still wet and press it into place, Bubble side towards glass. This method is great because not only will it save you money but it's easy to remove so if you rent you don't have to worry that it will leave undesirable marks on the window. To remove simply grab a corner and pull it off. Voila.


Personally I prefer to attach my bubble wrap by using painters tape along the sides of the window to ensure that any air coming in from the window is trapped between the window and the bubble wrap and not circulating in my apartment wreaking havoc on my heating bill.  If you're looking into a more heavy duty insulation might I suggest that you make a  bubble wrap/ aluminum foil sandwich. Foil-bubble wrap-bubble wrap -foil will give the most heat retention but you will lose the light. If light gain isn't an issue in a room during the winter then FBBF sandwich will be a great way to keep the heat in. If you'd like to keep the light but would want to maximize your insulation efforts might I suggest that you double up on the bubble wrap. Instead of using one layer of bubble wrap use two.

Caulk It Up

Caulking to seal gaps around doors and windows is an easy, energy-saving DIY project anyone can take on to lower their utility bill. There are several basic types of caulking available including latex, silicone, polyurethane, and hybrid formulas. Personally I tend to use Silicone caulk because it offers good flexibility, durability and adhesion, providing an excellent seal against the outside elements.
Silicone caulk is perfect for use around doors and windows in areas exposed to moisture or direct sunlight. Silicone products cannot be painted as they are engineered to not have anything stick to the surface. This winter I'll be using DAP Seal 'N Peel Removable Weatherstrip Caulk. I love this caulk because it's effective and most importantly it peels off without destroying the surface.

Most caulking products come in a 10 ounce cartridge and are applied with a caulking gun . Before applying a new layer of caulk, you’ll need to remove any older caulking with a utility knife or a scraper. Before you apply any new caulk carefully clean away any dirt and debris from the area and allow the surface to dry. When you’re ready to start caulking, load the caulk gun by pulling back the plunger and placing the tube of caulk into the chamber, bottom end first. Squeeze the trigger until it makes contact with the tube. Cut the tip to your desired bead size at an angle and apply pressure by squeezing the gun until the caulk is seen at the end of the nozzle.

Hold the gun at an angle, squeeze the trigger and push the gun away from your body to ensure that you are using enough caulk to fill your gap. When finished make sure to cap the top of the nozzle as most caulks can be stored and re-used at a future time. There are a variety of methods that can be used to smooth the caulk, ranging from running your finger along the bead to using a professional caulk tool. I usually would just use my fingers. Caulking doors and windows is a really quick and simple process, leaving your home warmer, more comfortable and more energy-efficient when you finish.

Weather strip those doors & windows

Weather stripping doors and windows is another cost-effective way to reduce energy waste. Weather stripping products come in many different forms, and can be made up of a combination of materials such as wood, rubber, vinyl, metal and foam. To determine the type of weather stripping that will be the most effective in the area you are trying to seal, you’ll want to consider factors like the amount of friction it will have to withstand, exposure to weather and any cosmetic concerns you may have with it being seen.

Even the most inexperienced DIY- er can apply weather stripping. Adhesive-backed foam tape is sold in rolls in varying widths and thicknesses with a sticky back. Just cut it to the desired length and apply it to the top and bottom of window sashes or inside door frames. Felt is another great choice for weather stripping around a door or window sash, or in the door jamb. Felt is easily nailed or stapled in place, and it compresses to allow smooth movement of doors and windows. For the base of doors and windows, the top or bottom of a window sash, or between a door and its jamb, tubular rubber is an effective air barrier. Made up of a narrow sponge rubber or vinyl tubing sometimes attached to a wood or metal mounting strip, tubular rubber comes peel and stick or can be fastened with screws through slot holes. All together, you can save up to $200 a year in heating and cooling costs – or about 10 percent on your energy bill -- by sealing and insulating your home.



Get a window insulation kit 

Head on over to Home Depot or any other home improvement store and buy a window insulation kit. Most kits contains the shrink film/plastic and double stick tape. It's pretty simple to use and can really improve the amount of cold air getting into your home. However, two things you'll really want to pay attention to when using these kits is that you want to ensure that the adhesive/tape is fully secure around the edges of your window frame. Any snag or pull or exposed parts will create an opening for air to make it's way into your home. Before you apply the contents of the kit to your window I'd recommend that you clean the area to ensure that no dirt or any other particles are sitting on the window frame. Extra dirt etc will mean that the tape would not adhere properly. Another thing is when using your hair dryer on the shrink film be careful not to over heat the plastic. When plastic overheats it shrinks and too much shrinkage in this case will be counter productive.  Below is a quick video showing you the process of using a window insulation kit.  

                            

Other areas you may want to weatherize includes:

Doors and windows are the primary place you’ll want to check for air leaks, but there are other areas that are worth checking, too:

Around attic stairs: If you have pull-down stairs that lead up to your attic, the back cover that holds the stairs in place once folded tends to have a gap between itself and the ceiling. Weather stripping around the edges of the back cover will keep the untreated attic air from entering the temperature-controlled areas of your home.


Fireplaces: If your home has an active fireplace, consider using a glass door surround. With one-piece construction, it’s designed as a surface mount that sits outside the fireplace against a flat surface. Using a fireplace glass door reduces heating or cooling loss by as much as 90 percent.

Pipes: Using fiberglass or polyethylene pipe insulation covers protects your pipes against freezing. There are a variety of sizes, so there is insulation for just about every size pipe, including elbows and tee connectors. Also, pipes are often positioned inside walls, floors and ceilings via holes. Caulking around these holes closes any gaps where untreated air can enter your home.

Faucets: Using slip-on outdoor spigot/faucet covers protect your exposed pipes and valves against freezing and drafts from entering through faucet cutouts.

Electrical outlets and switches: Using a foam insulation kit for electrical outlets and wall plates will reduce drafts that can enter your home for walls that are exposed to exterior elements on one side.


Stop Those Vampire Appliances

Vampire appliances are appliances that continue to use power because they are on standby mode when not in use. This allows them to turn on quickly when needed. The average household has 20 to 40 appliances on standby at any given time. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), most households use 75 percent of electricity on electronics that are not in use. Yikes. Here's a few ways can stop those power suckers:

Use a power strip for your cluster electronics. Cluster electronics include your computer and it's peripherals. When you are done using them for the day, hit the switch on the surge protector. This will cut all power to the units.

Unplug your video consoles when you're not using them.

Your television and set-top boxes use just as much electricity when they are off as they do when they are on. Before you and your family head out of town, pull the plug on them. Whenever I leave town I always unplug just about everything in my apartment. The only thing that remains plugged in is my refrigerator. When I leave the country and will away for more than 2 weeks I try to use everything in the refrigerator, give it a thorough cleaning and unplug it as well.   

Humidify To Lower Thermostat 

Yes, you read correctly; humidifiers can equal lower heating costs. The heat our bodies feel is a combination of temperature and humidity. In other words, the more humid the air, the warmer you feel. If you add humidity to dry, heated air in the winter, you can set your thermostat lower and still be comfortable. Stores like Bed Bath and Beyond, Target and Walmart are good places to start, and often hold seasonal sales or offer store coupons so you can shave down the cost of your new unit.
                       
When selecting a humidifier, take into account the purchase price, operating costs and maintenance costs of the unit. Some models consume more energy than others, so choosing a model that is right for your home and budget is important. There are several different types of humidifiers. Some of the most popular types of humidifiers are warm mist humidifiers , steam vaporizers, cool mist humidifiers, impeller humidifiers, and evaporative humidifiers. Many people prefer cool mist humidifiers because, unlike vaporizers and warm mist humidifiers, they don't have a heating element inside. Whether you choose a warm mist or cool mist humidifier is a matter of personal taste. Either way both types raise the humidity level and will make your home more comfortable. The cool mist humidifier is the most effective in adding moisture to the air: it works faster, doesn't make the room hot and lasts longer. Also, with a cool mist humidifier there is no risk of being scalded with hot water or steam. I prefer warm mist humidifiers.

Home Energy Audits

Getting a home energy audit is perhaps the best way to start making your home greener and more energy efficient. Contact your local utility; many offer free in-home audits. Some big-box home centers also offer free energy audits, but remember: They're in the business of selling you products, so you should probably take their suggestions with a grain of salt. Before you decide on any home improvement, find out what the payback period is for that particular item or upgrade. I'd recommend that your first move should be to call your local utility company to see if you may be able to get a free audit.


Ok so I've given you all of the tips and tricks I've come across in my research. Hopefully this post will help you to stay warm and keep extra money in your pockets.Do you use any of these tips? Do you have other suggestions of ways to reduce heating costs?

Live long and prosper

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Ghost & Mummy Cupcakes

Whether you're having a Halloween party or just making some cupcakes for your family and friends here are two quick and easy cupcake recipes that requires little skill or fuss. No need to worry, you probably have all of the ingredients to make these ghoulishly delicious treats. You don't need to be the best baker or cupcake decorator to make these bad boys. If you're interested then here's what you'll need.  

Ingredients
2 boxes cake mix
2 jars ready made White Frosting
Pasty bags
Red Gummy Candy/ M& M's
Chocolate Chips


Directions


Bake the cupcakes as per directions listed on the back of the box.

Use a pastry bag with basket-weave tip to pipe on white frosting.

Use a circular motion to create your ghost like cupcake topping and use crisscross motions to create the mummy cupcakes.

Use red M&M's or little chunks of red gummy bears for the mummy's eyes.

If you use the small chunks of red gummy for the mummy eye then place a mini chocolate chip to the middle to give it a better effect.

For the ghost cupcakes place three chocolate chips to create eyes and a mouth. 


There you have it folks. Simple, quick, and in expensive ways to create two delicious and easy Halloween inspired cupcakes.


Monday, October 7, 2013

DIY Creepy Halloween Makeup Looks


This year I'm especially focused on Halloween makeup looks as opposed to getting a store bought costume. As a self proclaimed DIY addict there's nothing better that putting time and effort into your project and having it turn out amazingly. All you'll need for most of these looks is some face paint, a brush, and these tutorials. If  you're looking for a few makeup ideas to scare everyone around you then continue reading this post.

KILLER CLOWN MAKEUP
This is one of my absolute favorite looks. It's crazy and oh so scary. All that's required is some time and makeup. Below is a video demonstration of how to achieved the killer clown look done by Melissa Bernard.
                                        
I'm a huge fan of Face Off on Syfy. It's a great show where gifted makeup artist create amazing sci- fi characters. One of the artist's named Laney creates amazing pop art inspired characters and this makeup look is perfect for anyone wanting to create a bright, beautiful pop art look.

                                               POP ART

 
Check out the video below to recreate this look done by Emma Pickles.   


QUEEN OF HEARTS 

Will the fans of Alice In Wonderland please stand up. This is the perfect queen of hearts makeup tutorial I've ever seen. If you love great makeup looks then you have to look into Kandee's Youtube channel. Her bubbly personality and makeup skills will keep you coming back for more. She also has a great Edward Scissorhands tutorial you may want to check out as well.    




Keeping with the Alice In Wonderland theme here is an amazing Cheshire Cat look that's sure to turn heads. Check out therealkatsketch channel for great tutorials.

                          TIM BURTON'S CHESHIRE CAT 



There's nothing creepier than a freaky looking doll. Below is a video by Melissa  showing how to bring out your inner scary doll.
                                   SCARY DOLL MAKEUP

 


You can't have Halloween without a pumpkin. Here's a great and simple pumpkin head makeup look that will put everyone in the Halloween spirit. This video is also made by Melissa on her Youtube channel.          
                           PUMPKIN HEAD MAKEUP
  

SEXY SKELETON MAKEUP 
Skeletons go hand in hand with Halloween. Here's a simple makeup look that you can rock with some leather or anything black. Check out this video by one of my favorite You-tubers Promise Phan or simply study the picture below and create your version of a sexy skeleton look.  

                                   
                             
Unzipped Face

If you're going for gore or shock-factor, this unzipped face look should do the trick. It may take some time, but believe it or not, it doesn't require a lot of complicated materials.Check out the tutorial by YouTube user BeautyByBrig to see how it's done.


                                     Split Jaw Zombie

If you've been keeping up with The Walking Dead, you'll appreciate MakeupbyMel's disgusting split jaw look inspired by the series.










 Check out her tutorial for the details.








                                               Pinhead

Prefer older horror? If you're a fan of Clive Barker's Hellraiser series, you'll love this totally creepy Pinhead look.
 





Check out the video by UnlimitedElizabeth to find out how you get those nails in your head!

                                        Exposed Muscles

This is one of the simpler ones, since you can do it all with just some eyeliner and face paint. You could also add some brighter reds or some fake blood to make it even gorier. Check out sasakiasahi's video to see the process.







                      Sally from the Nightmare Before Christmas
 
This tutorial by dope2111 will transform you into a near-perfect Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas.


 

 

To complete your costume, make sure to add some stitches to your arms and legs as well. Bonus points for detachable limbs!              

                                         Swamp Thing

Want something truly grotesque? This disgusting Swamp Thing look by goldiestarling should do the trick. Guess what the secret ingredient for the texture is? Rice Krispies! Just add a Ghillie suit and you're all set. Now, if only they sold costumes with regenerating limbs...









                                  Edward Scissorhands

This Edward Scissorhands look by Emma Pickles is so close to perfect, at first glance you'd almost swear you're looking at Johnny Depp himself. Think you have what it takes to look like Depp?






                                          

                                           Chelsea Grin

Few things are scarier than the idea of being a torture victim. So, freak out your friends with this Chelsea grin tutorial by LetzMakeup.
 



If you want an updated Joker this Halloween, the above Chelsea grin would improve upon his signature Glasgow smile tenfold. Just be sure to think up a good kidnapping story!








Would you use any of these looks? What will you be this Halloween?Still looking for inspiration? Check out tons of videos on YouTube you'll be sure to fond something frightfully delightful.