Hourglass Vanish Flash Highlighting Stick Review

Glowy! Dewy! Shimmery! Goddess-y! All natural-y! These are the things we hope and dream of from adopting highlighter into our lives. The aim of the game is to look healthy and luminous.

Before we continue any further, however, I should preface with some shocking information; I have had the same highlighter since I was 15 years old (aka for 10 years). As in, not just using the same brand, the same exact product. Yup. You can tuck your eyeballs back into their sockets now. While that highlighter had been loved for this entire decade, I knew it was time for an upgrade as I had gone beyond hitting pan and the lid was no longer attached (oops). It just so happened that at this time, Hourglass’ new Vanish Flash Highlighting Sticks had JUST been released! Ready for a fresh start, I moved my little legs as fast as they could take me into the nearest Mecca, swiped this beauty on the back of my hand and in an instant I was sold.

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No flash. Au naturel (aka no filters or editing).

I brought ‘Champagne Flash’ home with me. This stick of gorgeousness gives such a natural luminosity it’s hard to put into words (check out pics below!). In terms of the packaging, the highlighter comes as a wind-up stick in shiny silver. It feels sturdy and looks gorgeous, but the only downside I’d point out is that it is sooo easy to smudge and can look dirty in an instant just from the natural oils in your fingertips.

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The formula is buttery and creamy, is chunk-free and blends into the face easily and seamlessly. Personally, I simply swipe my finger over the stick and dab where I need to dab – plus, the warmth of my finger really helps it to melt into my skin! Simply gorg.

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One layer is all I need for that natural luminous glow we all desire. Extra love for this product as a little bit goes a loooonggg way!

Have a look at this.

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And this!

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And this.

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Sometimes I question why I didn’t pursue a career in modelling (also please don’t judge my post-gym sweaty hair. Or my wonderful, tidy background. Am I the best at taking/styling blog photos, or what?). And no, this is not leftover sweat from my workout, this is alllll Hourglass Vanish Flash Highlighting Stick baby!

If you’re looking for a new highlighter, I highly recommend checking out this range. There’s a few colour choices depending on your skin tone and what you’re looking for! I am just in love with ‘Champagne Flash’. A Vanish Flash Highlighting Stick will set you back $61.00AUD.

Have you tried Hourglass’ new Vanish Flash Highlighting Sticks yet? If so, let us know what you think down in the comments!

Alix x

PEANUT BUTTER BAR

It didn’t take much persuasion to get my booty over to the Peanut Butter Bar in Leichhardt, Sydney. My life flashed before my eyes when I saw their video pop up on Facebook, featuring a brownie being drowned in peanut butter from an ever-flowing PEANUT BUTTER TAP. That’s right, you heard (read) me – peanut butter on freakin’ tap.

Upon further investigation, I discovered that this place is in fact HEALTHY? Dishes bumped up with extra protein, decadent desserts made out of pumpkin and dates and coconut milk… of course, not everything on their menu follows this protocol, but for argument’s sake, we won’t focus on those.

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I convinced a pal to come with me, and we weren’t even swayed by the torrential downpours, sudden peak-winter temperature and 1 hour bus journey. We were excited for peanut butter, and no-one and nothing would stand in our way.

Off the bus, lured by the siren of PB (but mostly so we didn’t get soaked from the rain), we sprinted into the café. The decor is very interesting; the walls are donned with brightly painted murals and quotes from sporting greats (see pic for their subtle ode to Arnie). Admittedly it wasn’t quite what I was expecting! But they certainly are aiming for their clientele; this seems like the place to go once you’ve finished a hardcore session in the gym and are after a ‘healthier’ treat.

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Feeling a bit out of place, we made our order: salted peanut butter and choc chip cookie (with a scoop of their protein ice-cream), peanut butter chocolate lava cake (also featuring a scoop of vanilla bean ice-cream) and a vegan berry cashew cheesecake. We didn’t travel all that way to order something measly!

Oh my gooey-ness, the lava cake was INSANE! However, after two bites, it became a bit of a struggle as the dish is incredibly rich! The cookie was okay; with the ice-cream on top it was a dream, but the cookie on its own really wasn’t that great – you could really taste the protein-y-ness (what do you mean that’s not a word? Lies).

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Then there was the vegan cheesecake… oh boy. I have to say, I really didn’t enjoy this one at all! There was hardly any flavour, and the texture wasn’t pleasant. It was basically all mush! The base of the cheesecake seemed to essentially be ground up flaxseed, and the top layer with the berries tasted watery. I know vegan food tends to have a reputation for being fairly flavourless, but I have tried some truly tasty dishes in my time. What a shame this one was a disappointment! We ended up leaving it pretty much untouched.

The highlight from our entire spread was the ice-cream. Ooooh it was yum! And the peanut butter of course, although I really wish there was more of it!

For all of our goodies, it was a total of $41.95. Not the cheapest, yet not the most expensive either.

Unfortunately I left feeling heavy, the food sitting stagnant in my belly, thirsty and with the desire to brush the furries off my teeth. Ah, well! Perhaps if we tried different items off the menu, we would’ve had a better experience, who knows! Alas, I can now say I’ve been there, done that.

Have any of you popped to the Peanut Butter Bar before? If so, what did you think?

Alix x

SPICED KALE WITH PINE NUTS

Ahh, the classic side dish. It may not be the main event on your plate, but that doesn’t mean it has to be uneventful and boring! Let me tell you, I have come across one heck of a side dish that I actually ended up eating as my main *guilty*, and holy YUMBALLS it packed a punch! No joke, it was like my tastebuds were singing. This may seem like an exaggeration, but give this recipe a whirl and I promise you’ll see what I mean!

Just look at it. That green! I feel like the real life heart eye emoji.

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INGREDIENTS:
– 1 bunch of kale (de-stemmed & torn into bits)
– 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
– 100g pine nuts
– 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
– 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
– 1/2 tsp cumin
– 1 tsp ground fennel seed
– 1/2 tsp ground coriander seed

METHOD:
– Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat
– Add your pine nuts and toast them until golden, stirring frequently
– Throw in your chilli flakes, cumin, fennel seed, coriander and garlic
– Cook for a few more mins until the garlic becomes golden and the pine nuts are nicely toasted
– Add in your kale leaves, a bit at a time. Stir them all around until all the leaves have wilted
– Season to taste!

Simple. Tasty. Good for you. It doesn’t get much better than this!

If you make this at home, let me know how you go by commenting below or tagging me on social media! Enjoy!

Alix xx

MATCHA WHITE CHOC CHIP COOKIES

Cookies are the cure all, fix all for any situation. Feeling sad because you spilled your freshly brewed coffee down your favourite sweater first thing on a Monday morning? Cookie. Starving, but there’s nothing in the fridge to eat but mouldy old cheese leftover from girls night 4 weeks ago? Cookie(s). You forgot that it’s your friend’s birthday today? Shit… have a cookie! Or, give one to them (seriously, try this, it’s foolproof). And friends, do I have a cookie recipe to share with you today.

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Matcha White Choc Chip Cookies with Macadamia Nuts. Holy yumballs! Prepare your tastebuds now – these are crispy, sweet, and dare I say, good for you? Okay, that last part may be a bit of a stretch. But honestly, matcha can do some amazing things for you and your bod. If you haven’t heard of this supercharged green powder, let me give you a brief rundown: matcha is the powdered down version of green tea, so instead of just the infused water, you’re consuming the entire green tea leaf. Think of the benefits of green tea, and times it by 100. Boom! Clearer skin, boosted metabolism, increased stamina and mental clarity… the list goes on.

On its own, matcha can be quite bitter and grassy. But, infused with other sweeter things, for example in a latte or as a cookie, it’s absolutely delicious.

Here’s recipe to make these neon bikkies:

Makes: approximately 36 cookies (or 18 GIANT cookies *finger guns*)
Prep: ~15 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes

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Ingredients:

2 Tbsp Matcha Powder (less if you want a lighter matcha taste!)
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 Cup Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
1 Cup Raw Caster Sugar
1/2 tsp of Salt
1 Tbsp Pure Vanilla Extract
2 Large Eggs
2 Cups White Choc Chunks
2 1/4 Cups of Plain Flour
85g Macadamia Nuts (optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Sift & mix dry ingredients together in a big bowl (flour, baking soda & matcha). Mix until well combined.

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  3. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy and light.
  4. Mix the eggs, vanilla extract and salt into your wet mixture.
  5. Pour in the flour mixture, adding a bit at a time, folding just until the flour has been properly incorporated.
  6. Time to add in your white choc chunks and macadamia nuts (permission to steal a few of your white choc bits).
  7. With a spoon, scoop out the mixture and place onto a tray lined with baking paper. Space the cookie dough blobs about an inch apart from each other, as they’ll expand in the oven!

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  8. Press lightly on each blob with a fork – don’t worry about making them look pretty! We’re going for a nice rustic look here.

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  9. Pop in the oven, and bake for 15 minutes, or until they begin to go slightly golden in colour. If you want the cookies even greener, you could sacrifice a minute or two off the overall bake time!
  10. Kitchen dance break. Time to finally lick the spoon!
  11. Once done, place your cookies onto a wire rack to cool completely before storing in an air-tight container.
  12. Enjoy!

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Fun Fact: the first time I made these, I didn’t realise my kitchen was sans egg beaters and a cooling rack. It took hours and literal sweat and tears to whisk that butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Totally worth it. Oh, and turns out an oven rack can absolutely double as a cooling rack. Nifty.

Let me know if you give these a go!

Alix xx