Product Review: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Blackberry

After my awesome Big Lots Haul this week– I decided to write a couple of reviews for the goodies I purchased! Hang in there as I try  on my reviewer cap.

Today’s Lipstick: Revlon Super Lustrous “Blackberry” (640) in Creme.

Revlon's Blackberry is incredibly difficult to photograph. Daresay, this photo doesn't come close to capturing the 'real life' color. In person, it's a rich red/brown color.

Revlon’s Blackberry is incredibly difficult to photograph. Daresay, this photo doesn’t come close to capturing the ‘real life’ color. In person, it’s a rich red/brown color.

Color Expectation: This struck me as a particularly classic color for fall. It seemed warm; the red and brown tones were really, or so I thought, represented in the color of the lipstick itself (visible through the top of packaging).

Seriously. Bless this packaging.

The closest comparison that I can come up with for Blackberry is red wine. A la Cabernet Sauvignon; or, more specifically, according to the folks over at Wine Folly, the color of an “Old Cabernet Sauvignon” (que fancy!).

Thanks Wine Folly, this is exactly the type of visual I needed to describe this lipstick!!

However, Revlon threw a wrench in my expectations for this color. Here’s why:

  1. It is name is “Blackberry”, which makes me think of purple tones. Yet, this color isn’t purple at all. Not even a smidgen.
  2. The sticker on the bottom of the tube isn’t representative of the lipstick’s name, the color of the lipstick, or the color of the lipstick on my face. Thank goodness for Revlon’s see-through packaging on this one!
They call it "Blackberry". Pfffft.

They call it “Blackberry”. Pfffft.

Despite my uncertain expectations, I spent the mere two dollars on this lipstick. Also despite my uncertain expectations, I couldn’t wait to get Blackberry on my face…

Color Reality: I was most unprepared for what happened when I applied this little beauty to my lips! Take a look! This is a true red, ladies and gents; not a brown hue in sight. Mind you, the flash, not surprisingly, makes the red look brighter than it is in real life. Perhaps a few daylight photos are in order.

These photos are taken with flash. But here, have my goofy face!

But, fear not, I found a supremely accurate color descriptor for this on my face: Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice. No contest. You may as well have painted it on. Perhaps Revlon wasn’t so far off with the berry idea. Maybe Cranberry instead of Blackberry??

Cranberry Juice

This is the real color on my face. I promise.

Lipstick Texture: Blackberry is particularly creamy (as “creme” would imply). It’s a delight to wear. I did find that if I had any semblance of dry skin on my lips, that the color would build up and look gross. I tried wearing a chapstick under Blackberry and that seemed to help with the dry skin issue, but it did make the color slide. After a blot, it was fine. Also, if you plan on using a make up brush, apply the lipstick first, and just do detail work with the brush. This made a huge difference for me.

Lipstick Smell: Nothing to offend your nostrils here. Ah, viva unscented lipstick.

Lipstick Longevity: I haven’t worn this one out, yet, so I’m not sure how long it will last. I can say for sure that it will come off on your food (a burrito, to be exact) or in your gum, if you blow bubbles (don’t judge me).

So what, I don’t particularly love the name of this color and am slightly annoyed that it doesn’t wear the exact same as the lipstick. BUT– Blackberry is a gorgeous color on my face and apparently, I unknowingly bought a MAC Dubonnet dupe (see the Sunshine Sarah’s Comparison post). Woohoo!

You made it through my first review! What did you think? How can I improve?

Xo, Rachel

PS: Check out my new phone! Weeeeeee!

New phone! New phone! Magical new phone!

New phone! New phone! Magical new phone!

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Black Friday 2013: Samsung Galaxy S4

Hi friends,

All of the internet is all a-twitter right now about Black Friday deals. But I wanted to let you know about the deal that I took advantage of at Costco yesterday (but it goes through the end of the day today, 11/30/13!). They have $100 mail in rebate on Samsung phones. Check out the details here: Costco Wireless Black Friday Sale.

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I paid $146 and change, but qualified for the $100 mail in rebate on my upgrade. Samsung Galaxy S4 for less than $50?! No way! Also, remember that Costco Wireless waives your activation fee and provides you with a free accessory pack (which includes: a car charger, screen protectors, and a cell phone case).

Couldn’t be happier with my purchase. Photos to come!

Rachel

Thanksgiving 2013 Post

I’ve fought the urge to write a Thanksgiving post for the past couple of days; I try to practice appreciation as many days of the year as possible. But, I was also being a hipster about it, not wanting to post my thankful list on the same day as plenty of other bloggers. Perhaps I will post my “Thanksgiving Post” on another day, you know, to be original.

What changed my mind was something Rob read me from his Facebook. One of his friends posted: “I used to sleep outside and now I don’t. For that I am grateful.” I’m not gonna lie, I cried a litte.

I’d loosely contemplated an elaborate and goofy gratitude list, in typical Operation Rachel fashion, but today, I am focusing on my basic needs as a human being. I am lucky enough to have air to breathe, clean water to drink, food to eat, and even a warm, safe place to sleep. In some places and by some standards, I’m not just having my needs met; I’m living a luxurious and charmed life.

I’d be a fool not to acknowledge how fortunate I am. I plan on going above and beyond to appreciate that today.

Rachel

Big Lots Haul!

There’s nothing like drowning out the “job interview” woes like taking a trip to Big Lots. I have a favorite Big Lots in Mesa, Arizona– but fortunately, this particular location is not on Google Maps yet! Its lack of internet presence makes me love it even more.

Anyway, after reading a few posts (and by a few, I mean about 30 pages of them) on Nouveau Cheap about cosmetic deals, I got a huge bargain boner and knew that a trip to Big Lots was in my imminent future. Of course, I ended up there today after the interview. I found several goodies I have to share with you:

1. Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick “Blackberry” (640) in Creme. $2.00. IMG_20131127_110401_333

2. Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick “Wine Not” (010) in Matte. $2.00.

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3. Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick “Demure” (683) in Creme. $2.00.

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4. L’Oreal Paris Lip Brush. $2.00. I gotta tell you, I love this thing. It’s a really nice size, and no has fancy gadgetry. May have to buy more.

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5. Tweezeman Nail Files. $.30. That’s right. THIRTY CENTS EACH! How can you go wrong? They are not full sized files, but, into the purse they go. I haven’t been able to find my multitude of files lately. This is probably indicative of my need to clean instead of shop. Hmm… never the less, I’m quite proud of these wee finds.

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6. Physician’s Formula Organic Mineral Powder in “Beige Organics”. $4.50. I love PF minerals… even more than bareMinerals — if we are being honest. My only small complaint is that the color of the minerals can be difficult to judge inside of the containers.

[Photo to be uploaded ASAP]

Sorry that the minerals photo is missing. I wanted to get this post up ASAP in the event that you’re heading over to Big Lots in search of some deals too. Reviews of these products to come!

Smoochies,

Rachel

Wholesome Spiced Carrot Pulp Muffins

The third recipe that I used for my juice pulp was found here: Wholesome Spiced Carrot Muffins.

These muffins ranked about a….eh….C in my book. Now, with all due respect to the baker, I take full responsibility for this recipe’s low grade. Why you ask? Well, the original recipe calls for chia seeds. I didn’t have any, so I omitted them from mine. However, it is noted in the original recipe’s instructions that the chia seeds should be soaked in 1/4 cup of water. Moronically, I forgot to add the 1/4 cup of water to my recipe, despite the lack of chia seeds. As a result, the muffins were dry and, for the lack of a better word, “blah”.

The recipe and photos on Jellibean Journals looked moist and delicious, so I am eager to attempt this recipe again. I encourage you to check out Jelli’s post, because I doubt that my version does the recipe justice. I also discovered the original recipe that inspired Jelli’s recipe, and that can be found at Kitchen Treaty.

Ingredients (makes approximately 12 muffins)

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup oats (rolled or quick)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (I used low sodium baking powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (I used NoSalt Salt Alternative)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup oil (I used vegetable oil)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg (As usual, Better’n Eggs for me)
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups carrot pulp
  • 1/4 cup water (this isn’t on the original ingredient list, but Jelli adds it to the recipe later in her instructions. I think that mine would have greatly improved if I’d had the water)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Add the wet ingredients in one bowl. Mix them together.
  • Combine the dry ingredients in with the wet ingredients. Then, mix mix mix.
  • Lightly grease the muffin pans or use muffin liners. Divide the batter into 12.
  • Bake the muffins until they pass the toothpick test (insert a toothpick into the middle and it comes out of the muffin clean). For me, baking them took just over 20 minutes.
  • Allow the muffins to cool. Then, commence with nom-ing.

Here’s what I ended up with:

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My sad muffin mishap. Sorry for the poor photo quality.

Not adorable. But I’m optimistic for next time. Rob coined the name “fossilized poo muffins”– which we will re-name when I make the recipe CORRECTLY. Muffins with oats is a combination that I am eager to tackle. I’ll keep you updated as soon as I am ready to take it on again.

Rachel

Gel Polish Clearance!

Hey Bargain Shoppers!

One of local Walgreens has the SensatioNail gel polishes on clearance! Mind you, only a few of the shades were marked down, but several of them were shades I have been pining for. The best part? They’re 50% off– taking them down to only $5.99 each. Ahh…. warm fuzzies!

Here is a photo of the SensatioNail display; quite a few colors are marked down! Does anyone know why?

Orange Walgreens tags are ALWAYS a problem. But the best kind of problem.

Orange Walgreens tags are ALWAYS a problem. But the best kind of problem.

When the cashier rang up the polishes, only one polish came up on clearance; the others rang up at full price. Since the specific colors I had were all marked with orange tags on the display, the cashier did a price override. So, these beauties weren’t even six dollars apiece:

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SO EXCITED!

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Names of the polishes

I can’t wait to use these. What color do you think I should do this week? I’m leaning towards Royal Ruby, since I have a job interview on Tuesday.

A few people at Nouveau Cheap spotted these polish markdowns as well. Perhaps it’s time to stock up! I just recently found Nouveau Cheap’s blog (which has the ‘scoop on discount cosmetics’). That blog may end up being a big problem for me! Eek!

Happy bargaining!

Rachel

Banana Carrot Pulp Muffins

This was our second favorite muffin recipe from this past week. I’ve now made it twice: once with regular carrot pulp and once with carrot puree (used in the Chocolate Deceit Muffin recipe). While I fully expected the carrot puree to win out, but I think I prefer this recipe with plain ol’ juice pulp. When I make it next, I will update you on the tie-breaking results.

I ambushed Rob and my parents with these muffins, looking for some feedback. We all gave them a thumbs up, I think a solid B. After tweaking the ingredients, I think they will be well on their way to five star status. What we especially liked was that they were tasty (obviously) but also really, really filling. We found that a couple hours after we’d had our juice, and our stomachs were starting to rumble, one muffin would help hold us over.

This recipe was adapted from Healthy Banana Carrot Muffins. The photos of Kimberly’s muffins looked like EXACTLY what I wanted, so her recipe was the one I chose. The only substitutions that I made were 1) applesauce for oil, 2) the addition of another banana (since I had two that were about to go bad), and 3) juice pulp/puree for the shredded carrots. I think I may go back and make Kimberly’s recipe EXACTLY as she made it, since her muffins are much prettier than mine.

Ingredients (makes approximately 12 muffins)

  • 1 Egg (Kimberly notes that the eggs should be ‘slightly beaten’ — but I just poured Better’n Eggs in and hoped for the best)
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 3 tablespoons Unsweeted Apple Sauce
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 2 Bananas, pureed*
  • 1 and 1/2 cups Carrot Pulp or puree
  • 1 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar

* Since I love my Ninja, I went ahead and dropped the two bananas in it to make puree.

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Banana puree with the wet ingredients in a bowl in the background.

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Add the wet ingredients (eggs, applesauce, vanilla, milk, banana, and carrot) in one bowl. Mix them together.
  • Add the dry ingredients in with the wet ingredients. Then, mix mix mix.
  • Lightly grease the muffin pans or use muffin liners. Divide the batter into 12.
  • Bake the muffins until they pass the toothpick test (insert a toothpick into the middle and it comes out of the muffin clean). For me, baking them took between 30-40 minutes (the original recipe said 20 – 25 minutes).
  • Allow the muffins to cool. Then, commence with nom-ing.

I took a before and after photo of the muffins. I added oats on a few of them for decoration.

Muffin batter.

Muffin batter.

Done muffins.

Done muffins.

 

I will update you when I tweak this recipe more. The first batch, with the carrot pulp, really was better. Let’s see how the next batch goes.

Happy muffin-ing,

Rachel

An Open Letter to the Pinterest Team

Dear Pinterest Team members:

I love, love, love your website. Almost too much, if you can imagine that. I spend hours scrolling through the never-ending buffet of images and links in PinLand. This had, up until a couple of weeks ago, resulted in around 3,000 unsorted “Likes” on my page, at all times. One night, a fit of boredom, I decided to organize them; pin the keepers, and unlike the rejects. This decision lead me to an important discovery: the format of the “Pin It” pop up page had changed! It was infinitely better!! It allowed me to type the first few letters of existing boards to find it (instead of having to scroll through the entire list). Making new boards was a breeze! There was even a “Recently Used” section. It was complete internet-hoarding organizational bliss! Before I knew it, I’d spent my entire evening, literally, sorting pins with new-found “Pin It” fever.

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I couldn’t have put it so well myself.

And then, something devastating happened. I returned to Pinterest today with a specific goal in mind: to organize more of my Likes! But, lo and behold, the Pin It page had returned to its former self. This is a Pin-strosity! (I know you see what I did there)

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Nooooooooooooo!

Could it be?! I thought Pinterest had done away with this version of the Pin It page. The other version of this page was SO MUCH BETTER; infinitely easier to work with, a pleasure to spend time with. I was inconsolable, so I went to the Popular category in an attempt to drown out my disappointment (finding more than a few posts to like in the process). For now, my unsorted Likes are awaiting some love, but I’m refusing to revisit this sad and sorry version of the Pin It page. It this a temporary change?! Can I “opt” into the formatting awesomeness?! Can the Pin It page be restored to its former glory?! Someone, anyone, please enlighten me on this subject.

It just occurred to me how ridiculous this post is. I’m going to have to start attending Pinners Anonymous meetings, since I don’t have it in me to boycott such a fabulous website,

Rachel

Chocolate Deceit Muffins (Made with juice pulp! Gasp!)

These muffins are the best kind of lie; I couldn’t keep the recipe to myself anymore! The fact that I was able to sneak carrot and apple pulp into these muffins (as the main ingredient, no less) completely made my week. I mean, seriously, no one knew that there was juice pulp in those muffins but me; hence the name “Chocolate Deceit Muffins”.

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C’mon, would you guess that these are ALMOST healthy?!

Since I am NOT a baker of any kind, I also want to credit the writer whose recipe inspired my muffins. Rita at Mochachocolata Rita originally posted this Chocolate Carrot Cake Recipe. I found the recipe on Pinterest as the only Chocolate Carrot Loaf (though, the lack of results may be a result of my impatience, not for the lack of recipes). After a few tweaks, Rita’s recipe morphed into the Chocolate Deceit Muffins that I’m writing about today Wee!

Ingredients (makes approximately 12 muffins)

  • 2 Eggs (I used the equivalent with Better’n Eggs, since that’s what we had in the fridge)
  • 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons Unsweetened Apple Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups Carrot Pulp Puree (This required me to add water to the carrot pulp to get the texture I wanted. See the notes/photos below*)
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Dark Chocolate Cocoa Powder** (see additional note below)
  • 2 tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder**
  • 1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder (I use low sodium baking powder because of my boyfriend’s heart condition)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt (I used NoSalt Salt Substitute)
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips (a few for the top of each muffin. This is optional)

*A couple notes on the Carrot Pulp Puree:

I packed as much carrot pulp into 1 cup as I possibly could. I then dumped it into my Ninja.

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1 cup of carrot pulp into the Ninja

I added some water and blended the carrot pulp. I repeated this process until the pulp was an acceptable texture. With the added water, 1 packed cup of carrot pulp made 1 and 1/2 cups of carrot pulp puree.

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Carrot pulp + water = carrot pulp puree!

** The original recipe called only for unsweetened cocoa powder, but I personally love special dark cocoa powder, so I did a little mix-y mix-y action for this recipe. Use whichever cocoa powder you prefer.

Instructions (remember, I’m not a baker, so these may not be considered proper techniques!)

  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Make 1 and 1/2 cups of carrot pulp puree
  • Add the wet ingredients (eggs, applesauce, vanilla, and carrot puree) in one bowl. Mix them.
  • Add the dry ingredients (sugar, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and cocoa powder) in with the wet ingredients. Then, mix mix mix.
  • Lightly grease your muffin pans or use muffin liners. Divide the batter into 12.
  • Add the chocolate chips to the top of the muffins (optional).
  • Bake the muffins until they pass the toothpick test (insert a toothpick into the middle and it comes out of the muffin clean). For me, baking them took between 30-40 minutes.
  • Allow the muffins to cool. Then, commence with nom-ing.

I took a few photos for you while I was baking!

Wet ingredients. Yummy!

Wet ingredients. Yummy!

Starting to add the cocoa powder (note the dark and regular cocoa)

Starting to add the cocoa powder (note the dark and regular cocoa)

Wet and dry ingredients combined!

Wet and dry ingredients combined!

Batter with chocolate chips into the muffin tins

Batter with chocolate chips into the muffin tins

I really, really, REALLY hope that you enjoy these muffins as much as I did! Let me know what you think of them!

Deceitfully yours,

Rachel

PS: I attempted to do the nutritional information on them. I may try to calculate it by hand to verify.
ChocolateMuffinNutrition