Signature Cocktails: Boston Cocktail

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In honor of Boston week, the ladies at Favorite Day wanted to pay homage to our great city by making the Boston Cocktail. We found the recipe for this cocktail from the Mr. Boston Platinum Edition drink mixing guide. It’s a little sweet and a little strong – just like our city. After all, we are Boston Strong.

Boston Cocktail:

  • 3/4 oz gin
  • 3/4 oz apricot brandy
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice  (or juice from 1/2 lemon)
  • 1 1/2 tsp grenadine

I started by adding all of the ingredients to a shaker with ice. I shook it well and poured it into a chilled martini glass. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a proper garnish, but if you have a lemon feel free to add a twist for fanciness.

I found that the herbal flavor from the gin blends well with the sweetness from the grenadine and brandy. The lemon helps to balance it with a somewhat tart finish. If you find that it is too sweet, try adding less grenadine and a bit more lemon juice. It is a strong drink, so I think it works best to sip it slowly and enjoy it.

Having a get-together this weekend? Consider making the Boston Cocktail and let me know what you think!

Cheers!

~The ladies at Favorite Day

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Internet Beauty Test Subject: DIY Microdermabrasion

DIY microdermabrasionWater from here, baking soda from here.

There’s a picture of Lauren Conrad on Pinterest and her skin looks like it’s glowing. Seriously. Glowing. “DIY Microdermabrasion!” it says. Well, I’ve tried to click on the link to see how I could get skin like hers, but, like a lot of the links on Pinterest it was no longer available. So, I gave up and moved on. It wasn’t until I was looking for ideas for this post that I came across the picture again. So, I did what I always do – I Googled it (what would life be without Google? I don’t like to think about it). It brought me to this blog which described how to do a DIY microdermabrasion.

Microdermabrasion, the less agressive version of dermabrasion, is described as a non-surgical way to rejuvenate skin using a tool to remove the top layer of the skin. It can help treat wrinkles, age spots, and acne. For this DIY microdermabrasion I won’t be using any tools. In fact, I’ll just be using water and baking soda.

Hypothesis: Baking soda is a cleaning miracle – it can be used to clean anything from your hair, to your bathroom. As a paste, it can exfoliate and clean your face.

Prediction: I’ve always known baking soda can be used pretty much anywhere in the house, but it wasn’t until recently that I learned how much I can use it as part of my beauty regimen (i.e. dry shampoo, regular shampoo, whitening nails, whitening teeth just to name a few). I predict that my face will be soft and smooth after using the baking soda mixture.

Test: I started by washing my face with my normal face wash. Then, I mixed 3 parts baking soda and 1 part water in a bowl and applied the mixture in circular motions all over my face for about a minute. I rinsed with warm water, patted dry and used my moisturizer.

Analysis: Let me just say that I plan on doing this DIY microdermabrasion at least once a week. My skin hasn’t felt that smooth and clean in a long time. I usually exfoliate with St. Ives Apricot Scrub once a week, but I think I’ll be doing a baking soda “scrub” from now on. It’s so simple and SO cheap.

Ratings: 
Cost: Less than $5.oo.

Time Consumed: 5 minutes.

Pre-Event Feasibility: This is such a simple and inexpensive way to get your skin looking great before any party or event.

Post-Event Feasibility: It’s also a good idea to do this after a party or night out because your skin will no doubt be exposed to all sorts of stuff.

End Result: Loved this! My skin felt soft and smooth and it looked brighter. I can’t wait to do it again.

Have you tried this DIY microdermabrasion? Do you have any skincare secrets? Leave a comment below!

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Internet Beauty Test Subject: DIY Avocado Banana Hair Mask

Hair Mask

Hi guys! I’m back from my world travels and if there’s one thing I realized while being away, it’s that I don’t take care of myself like I do when I’m home. After using shampoos from hotels, my hair was in need of some deep conditioning.  By now, those of us that are big into at-home beauty treatments, know that banana and avocado are amazing for your hair. They moisturize and make your hair soft and shiny. So, I found this avocado banana hair mask recipe and gave it a try.

Hypothesis: The high – fat content in avocados, the nutrients in bananas and the protein in the egg will penetrate the hair and make it soft and shiny.

Prediction: Based on what I already know (and what I’ve heard) about the ingredients, I think my hair will be soft and manageable after this hair mask.

Test: 
Ingredients:
1 avocado
1 banana
1 tablespoon sunflower oil (you can also use olive oil)
1 egg

Optional apple cider vinegar rinse (I highly recommend this!): If you’d like to use an apple cider vinegar rinse after shampooing, you can mix ¼ cup ACV and 1 cup water together and set it aside – or put in the shower so you can easy grab it when you’re rinsing out the mask (learn why ACV is great for you hair here).

I cut up the banana and avocado and put them in a blender, followed by the sunflower oil and egg. I blended this until it was smooth and applied to my dry hair and put my hair up in a shower cap. After the mask had been on for 20 minutes, I rinsed my hair with cool water and shampooed twice. Then, I took the ACV mixture and poured it all over my hair and left it in for about 2 minutes. I rinsed the ACV mixture out and used my regular conditioner.

Analysis: My hair felt rejuvenated after the mask and ACV rinse. The mask was also fairly easy to execute without making too much of a mess. The only thing I would do differently next time is wait until the avocado is softer. It was difficult to blend it completely because it was not as ripe as it should have been. The banana was also difficult to completely blend – I still had pieces left in my hair after rinsing and shampooing, BUT after I conditioned my hair the pieces came out.

Ratings:
Cost: About $10.00, $15.00 if you purchase apple cider vinegar.

Time Consumed: 30 minutes.

Pre-Event Feasibility: If you plan on wearing your hair down, whether you’re straightening or curling it – this mask is perfect to do before your event. Smooth and shiny! Yay!

Post-Event Feasibility: This mask and rinse is a great idea if you’re trying to get your hair back to a healthy state. If you’ve put your hair through heating tools and hair products for your event, this is a great hair mask to bring your locks back to life.

End Result: I loved this hair mask. I’ve put my hair through many years of color treatments and I feel like it moisturized deeper than anything else I’ve tried. I plan on doing it again next week with a softer avocado – I’ll be sure to give you an update!

Do you have a DIY hair mask that you love? Leave a comment below!

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Internet Beauty Test Subject: DIY Dry Shampoo

Dry shampoo

I am one of those young ladies that does not wash my hair every day. I even went as far as to not shampoo my hair for a few months (also called “no poo” – bah ha). However, I’m back to using a sulfate free shampoo every few days. So, as you can imagine, I find dry shampoos pretty exciting (especially DIY!).  This is something that you can use between washes that will absorb the oil and keep your hair looking fresh.

Hypothesis: Baking soda and corn starch will act as a dry shampoo and absorb the excess oil in your hair.

Prediction: I’ve heard of using baking soda in your hair in between washes, so I think this will be a new staple in my beauty routine.

Test: I found this blog with a simple DIY dry shampoo and decided to use it as my test subject. I mixed 1/2 cup of corn starch and 1/2 cup of baking powder in a bowl and put it into a small mason jar. I took a little bit of the mixture in my palm and spread it out over my hands. Then, with my head tipped over I started at the scalp and spread it throughout my hair. After leaving it for a few minutes I went through my hair with a fine-tooth comb.

Analysis: This DIY dry shampoo was effortless to make and even easier to use. I’ve tried store-bought dry shampoos before and they made my hair feel stiff. This was more of a light feeling and I noticed that the grease from the day wasn’t as noticeable. My hair is light brown so I did notice that it looked a little white before I combed it out.

Ratings:
Cost: About $4.00.

Time Consumed: It took about 5 minutes to prepare the dry shampoo and 2 minutes to apply it.

Pre-Event Feasibility: “Dirty” hair holds better in hairstyles than clean hair does. So, if you’re planning to get your hair done, this dry shampoo would be a great thing to use to keep the grease at bay.

This is a great item to have in your bag post-party too! After my hair has been through the mill with product and styling tools I need something to bring back the freshness.

End Result: There are other recipes for dry shampoo. For example, there are some for darker hair made with cocoa powder. I’ll probably try adding a little bit of cocoa powder to my mixture so it doesn’t look like I’m wearing a powdered wig.

I’ll be back in a few weeks, my  friends… I’m heading to Europe. I’ll miss youuuuu.

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Internet Beauty Test Subject: DIY Winged Eyeliner

Winged Eyeliner final

Most women I know use eyeliner everyday with their morning makeup routine. But liquid or gel eyeliner? It can be a little scary. But fear not! Once you have used it a few times it becomes less frightening. The winged eyeliner look is timeless and it adds a bit of glamour to your look. I usually keep my eye makeup pretty simple – liquid eyeliner (usually without the wing), some mascara and neutral eyeshadow. I decided I wanted to try the winged look. I used this tutorial from Beautylish and modified it slightly.

Hypothesis: Adding a “wing” to your eyeliner can give you a sophisticated and glamorous look.

Prediction: As I mentioned, I don’t usually change up my makeup routine in the morning – mostly because I’m too tired and I run out of time. I’ve tried adding a wing to my eyeliner before, but I feel like it was very modest. I’m a little concerned that I’ll just keep adding eyeliner to both eyes in an attempt to make them even and end up looking very scary.

Test: After applying my mascara (I use Benefit BADgal Lash from Sephora), I applied the liquid liner along my lashline trying to get as close as I could to my lashes. Then, I used a brow pencil as a guide and made a line out past the corner of my eye. Once I had the “wing” I made a line back in towards the inner corner of my eye filling in with the liquid liner as I went. I had to remove some eyeliner with a cotton swab to make them as even as possible.

Analysis: I really like the way it came out. My boyfriend came home to me sitting on the couch watching TV with more eye makeup on than I usually wear and said I looked pretty (d’awww). He had no idea why I looked different – but hey, I figure that’s a win!

Ratings:
Cost: I bought my liquid liner from Target for about $8.00. It’s called L’Oreal Telescopic Precision.

Time Consumed: It took me about 20 minutes to get my eyeliner to match on each eye.

Pre-Event Feasibility: Going to a party or doing your own make up for your wedding? With a little practice you can master the winged eyeliner look and add some fanciness to your eye makeup.

End Result: I’m going to try and do the winged eyeliner more often. Maybe on the weekends? Maybe every other Tuesday? Who knows! I’m excited!

Have you tried the winged eyeliner look? Leave a comment below!

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