Olivia will turn 1 year in September. We will be in Italy to celebrate her birthday and I want to make one of those cool cakes you see on Pinterest. Given that my baking skills suck I decided to start practicing in advance so I made a Bloody Orange and Raspberry Cake I saw on Pinterest. The original recipe can be found on the Cake Blog. I am not going to re-write the recipe but I will add few tricks for dummies like me. The baker from the blog assumes that you have some basic baking skills. Well, I did not and I ended up trowing away the first two cakes and also managed to grated my thumb in the cheese grater.

FIRST TIP: Do exactly as the recipe reads. Do not skip steps, do not mix sugar with flour when you are not supposed to. Read the recipe in advance. Trust me!

SECOND TIP: Buy the proper pans to bake the cake. Do not try to bake this cake in those cheesecake baking pans because the batter will leak in the oven. (yes, that happened too when I was making it). You need to get those simple round oven pans you get at the supermarket. They are $5.

THIRD TIP: Buy tons of butter. Don't think the recipe asks for too much butter. You really need it.

FOURTH TIP: To make it easy to spread the icing on the cake, making sure you cover the entire surface, spread a layer, then put the cake in the fridge for 5-10 minutes, then take it out level it with a knife or special spatula and add more icing. Repeat until you achieve the desire look. More tips on how to frost cakes here.

The cake was amazing. I did not use all of the icing because I did not make 3 or 4 cakes. But the cake was extraordinary. So total success!! Good Luck if you make it and share your pictures!!

Here I share my disaster and my results. You can see my kitchen was a mess.

The past weeks have been quite fun but also off my regular routine. I was visiting a friend in Washington, baking desserts I can't bake (that I find on Pinterest), going to weddings, shopping for summer clothes, etc. This means that I have neglected my working out regime. I swear I am making the commitment today that June will be my working out month and sticking to a nutritional plan to help boots my work out. Until then let's enjoy the wine, pina colada, and cake.

Today I want to talk about make-up and this contouring tutorial.


What's contouring? The easy way to explain contouring technique in make up is one: Kim Kardashian. Kim Kardashian's make up is the result of contouring. Contouring is applying make up strategically in such a way to shape your face and features to minimize imperfections or highlights your best features. It can be very drastic as in Kim Kardashian or it can be pretty natural. It all depends on the amount of make up you apply and the results you are trying to achieve. Contouring make up these days come in any type of kit and palette. If you visit Sephora or any beauty stores ask one of their representatives to show you the different kits. For women 30 and older, opt for mousse/cream base items, avoiding powder which sets on wrinkles and leaves your skin looking dry. You might also invest in two different kits based on your location and season. For winter or dry environments opt for a mousse base, for hot and humid weather you want to minimize any heavy make up such as compacted powders. I must admit I still have not found a great centering kit for summer and for hot and humid weather. What I do is use my COVER FX but in little amounts then I proceed blending the product as much as I can.

I actually visited Sephora today with my friend, who saw my before and after picture of applying my COVER FX contouring palette. She had the make up artist applying hers on and we learned few more tricks on how to get the best results.

TRICKS for CONTOURING for real people

#1. Choose a natural shade palette close to your natural hue (don't go drastic, you don't want to look like Kim Kardashian when dropping your kids off school or teaching at school. It is weird).

#2. For cream/mousse base use your fingers to warm the makeup before applying on your skin. You can place some of the product on your hand then you can use a brush or your fingers to apply the product first. Finish by blending with a brush. BLEND, BLEND, BLEND.

#3. Dark colors will go right below your cheek bone. Make sure you start from your hairline and you stop before you reach your mouth. You need to stop at the end of your cheek bone. Then use the brush and stroke parallel first to the product, then vertical above and below the application.

#4. Once you are done with everything set your make up with powder or a special finishing product such as Model in the Bottle. Otherwise with summer heat it will just make you look like you are the Joker.

#5. If you want a more drastic look, add more product and experiment. 

Those are some tips, there are more of course, but those are the ones that I just had no idea and were very helpful. I am including a list of resources of girls who have really taken contouring to the next level. While this might not be you, you can still learn and adapt to your liking. It was helpful to learn more about the technique, what worked for me or did not work. For example, I am a huge fan of blending everything on my face with a big round rough brush I bought 15 years ago at the Body Shop. (Yes that's right).

Also, in reality you don't need to buy a fancy kit for contouring. You could use concealer, different shades of foundation, and a highlighter. But the thing is that you will probably spend more money buying individual items than just getting the palette. Same thing for brushes. You don't have to spend $37 on a single brush. Although I must say I have bought in the past cheap brushes and they fell apart in days. I really liked the brushes from the Body Shop. It was such a popular store when I was 14 and it was everywhere. One of the first natural, no animal cruelty beauty store. I loved it. Then they started shutting down their shops everywhere :( They actually still make the brush I use to blend anything (from liquid foundation, to powder). Ah what a great find. Here the link. [You can tell I am excited].

Contouring tutorials from other bloggers:
OnceWed: How to contour and highlight - Link
BeautyAdviceForLife: How to highlight and contour for make up - Link
Glamher_Booth on Instagram: A bunch of before after pictures with contouring - Link
Kim Kardashian Make Up Routine: Link
Incredible pictures of women with and without make up: Just for fun - Link

As for me and contouring I think I like it for special occasions. I am so used to not wearing make up that it is weird, but I have to admit I looked younger and fresh.