a few of my favorite things {part 2} | beauty edition



***warning to my male readers, this post is all about make-up. look away {but not for too long}***

find part 1 of my favorite things here.

remind me to not participate in a big event like a pageant when i’m trying to move back to another country! i’m kidding, but seriously. granted most of the “busy-ness” is probably in my head, the stress of learning dance moves, memorizing a poem, remembering walk patterns, packing and trying to sell a car is all a bit. well, crazy! if you know me, you know i worry about absolutely everything. it. will. all. be. fine. that is what i am telling myself over and over again.

anyway i’ve gone a little make-up crazy over the last few weeks. but it’s about time as i haven’t updated my collection in a while. mostly because the funds won’t allow. so of course i was due an update.

i am a girly girl {and a tom-boy on occasion} and i often feel like a new woman when i’ve bought new lipstick/mascara/foundation etc. etc.

lashes for days
i’m blessed with fairly naturally curly lashes. when i was first experimenting with make-up i decided to spend my minimum wage £££’s on MAC make-up. there i was, a bright eyed new-to-all-this 16 year-old in selfridges of london on oxford street. i felt like i was 16-going-on-25. because of course by then i would have figured life out and i would be a woman.

i walked away with my first non-highstreet make-up purchase and got a sample size of dior show mascara as a gift. so when i say lashes for days i really mean lashes for days. so much so i had several compliments and “are you wearing lash extentions?” type questions.

i haven’t had the $$$ to make the purchase since. and i couldn’t justify it to be honest {$26 for one}. but last month i couldn’t contain my excitement as it was handed over to me as a gift. now if your eyes goggled a little at that price tag do not fear, i found a high street alternative; extra super lash from rimmel london {under $10 for TWO}. yay for cheaper alternatives that don’t break the bank.


smooth as a baby’s bottom
i remember a commercial {in england} ending with that tagline, don’t ask me which product they were selling but i’ve remembered it to this day. and it sorta fits.

i’ve been using MAC’s pro longwear concealer in nw45 but having it roll off the counter in the bathroom at work then watched it smash to pieces {glass product} 3 TIMES, i had had enough.  i huffed and puffed, possibly cried a little and decided it was to try another concealer that won’t smash if it fell on the floor {i drop everything}. so i wandered into sephora, i’ve been wanting to try their own-name make-up for some time.

i ended up with their sephora collection 8 hour wear perfect cover concealer. it has great coverage and i find that i don’t need much.


honestly? i found MAC’s pro longwear concealer to give much better coverage for my skin. but i’m happy with this for now, until i can face buying another concealer from MAC.

tint those lips
actually with MAC lipsticks it’s a bit more than tinting. but the coverage is glorious! in my letting go and more lipstick post i mentioned i had bought MAC’s lustre lipstick in syrup. i also went for ruby woorebel and all fired up. they last all day with minimal need for touch ups. they also suit every skin tone and at $16 each i think it’s worth it!


recently i have been using pinkish toned blushers for my cheeks but in the past i usually go for shimmering orange-toned blushers, and that’s why i went back to it with fashion fair’s beauty blush in ginger berry. fashion fair is a great line for darker-skinned women and it has also come a long way.


photo finish
there isn’t much to say about this primer from smashbox except it does what it says on the tin {ok not quite a tin but that is yet another english commercial tagline}.  i bought this sample size at sephora, not wanting to spend $$$. i originally saw this on pinterest and of course pinned it to my all dressed in white wedding board. i will be buying the full-sized one once i’m finished with this sample size!


what are some of you favorite beauty buys? what are your worst?

find part 1 of my favorite things here.



olive garden zuppa toscana soup

2014, February, February, Food

this soup really hits the spot on cold winter days. and i mean really hits the spot. i tried it at olive garden and probably had about 3 or 4 servings {it was all you could eat, what else am i supposed to do?}. then as per usual i was too full for the main course.

of course i just had to share. it’s fairly easy to make, but i warn you – open all your windows! well as least make sure the kitchen is well ventilated then you don’t end up with an onion smelling towel {all the way in the bathroom}.

my roommates and i enjoyed it with sourdough bread from kneaders. but you can of course try it with any bread!


total time to make is about 1 hr 30mins. the original recipe is found here but i’ve also posted it below for your convenience {i know, i got you}:

  • 1 lb ground italian sausage
  • 1½ tsp crushed red peppers
  • 1 large diced white onion
  • 4 Tbsp bacon pieces
  • 2 tsp garlic puree
  • 10 cups water
  • 5 cubes of chicken bouillon
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 lb sliced russet potatoes, or about 3 large potatoes
  • ¼ of a bunch of kale
  1. sauté italian sausage and crushed red pepper in a large pot. drain excess fat, refrigerate while you prepare other ingredients.
  2. in the same pan, sauté bacon, onions and garlic over low-medium heat for approximately 15 mins. or until the onions are soft.
  3. add chicken bouillon and water to the pot and heat until it starts to boil.
  4. add the sliced potatoes and cook until soft, about half an hour.
  5. add the heavy cream and just cook until thoroughly heated.
  6. stir in the sausage and the kale, let all heat through and serve.



happy birthday to me! {and you!}

2014, Blogging, February, February

it’s been one year of cupcake mascara!


it’s been a fun journey. i’ve learnt a lot about myself, about writing and about freedom of expression. and i’ve loved every minute.

do  you know what i have learnt the most? it’s ok to be honest. in fact, it’s great to be honest. and to be real. i have found that some of my most popular posts are the ones where i have been honest with you and with myself.

i have also learnt that there are some things i can {and should} keep to myself.

i discovered that the world wide web isn’t all bad. there are amazing people doing incredible things, everyday. for themselves, for their families and for their communities.

and thank you to you, dear reader, for your support, feedback and love. i thoroughly enjoy the emails and comments. keep them coming and i hope to keep you entertained, inspired and tickled-on-the-inside happy.

here are a few of my favorite blog posts from the past year…

if life gives you lemons
me to a T
a public profession of love
a piece of advice {day 7}
get real {day 17}
why blog? {part 1}
dear gluten, i don’t think we can be friends
feature friday: memories for life photography
i heart my city | salt lake city
letting go and more lipstick

here’s to another year!


valentine’s day

2014, Culture, February

normans is a great blogging community site that i stumbled on a few months back. and it’s brilliant. and quite hilariously and beautifully written.

but it was the latest post {on valentine’s day} that really stood out to me.

how to never spend valentine’s day alone http://www.normons.com/never-spend-valentines-alone/

read it. because it inspired this post. as did the science of happiness from soulpancake on youtube.


L. O. V. E.

and romance. and kisses. and cuddles. and chocolate. and cards that you throw away. and flowers.

i think i just regurgitated.

not because those things are wrong. but this season tends to promote that without all of that we are lonely and sad individuals.

just yesterday i was listening to a radio station in the uk and the presenters commented on how alone they were going to be on valentine’s day because they weren’t in relationships.

so with everyone so focused on the “relationship” and “in love” part of valentine’s day it’s no wonder many people hate it so much. and all of a sudden, if you’re in a relationship and your beau doesn’t buy you chocolate/flowers/jewelry/cologne, they don’t love you.

when did buying gifts on a season such as this become a defining part of a relationship?

i’m not going to rant about the over-romanticization of valentine’s day. i don’t want to take up your time with that. there’s probably enough of it on the world wide web anyway.

here’s something. because i don’t think valentine’s day is going to go away.

why not think about someone who has encouraged you, loved you regardless of your weaknesses {because goodness we all have them}, who has inspired you to be better, who respects you and everything that you are. think about that person and write down why you are grateful for them.

then tell them.

if according to science {and soulpancake} we can find happiness in gratitude then why not. rather than focus on what “love” we don’t have why not focus on the love we do have.

so dear reader, i invite, this valentine’s day to tell the person that makes a difference in your life just how much they mean to you. if you’re a blogger i invite you to invite your readers to do the same.

if you do try this, i would love to hear of your experiences. email me at cupcakemascarablog@gmail.com or leave a comment below.


4 weeks to go…

2014, Culture, Fashion, February

saturday 8 february.

its midday and i have a full face of make-up on {which never happens}.

i’m sat in a chair with two bright lights veered off to either side of me and a camera in front. alan, our videographer, says “take 2” and “3, 2, 1…action”

off i go “i was born in sierra leone, in the northern province of makeni…moved to england when i was 4…” the rest of it is kind of a blur seeing as i was definitely apprehensive — this video is of course getting shown on a big screen on the night of the pageant. i stood up with sweaty pits.

the rest of the rehearsals were just fine, with walking patterns for the traditional outfit and the evening gown, as well learning the intro dance.

i’m not going to lie, apart from the filming part, it was fun! and i am in love the how different each nation of africa is. i mean, we have our similarities but the differences are so beautiful! as are each of the girls participating.

from my last couple of posts you’ll note that i was down in provo with my bff ema, just over a week ago. even though it was absolutely freezing, she braved the cold with me and we had a fun photoshoot.

i’m not usually keen on having my photo taken, and to begin with i had no idea how to pose – but ema is fabulous, told me to relax and we just had fun with it.

here are a few pictures from the day!

oh and there are only 4 weeks left till the pageant. not. freaking. out. at all.






can’t thank ema enough.

**side note: it’s my last week at work. yessssssss**


rainbows are for birthday girls

2014, Family and Friends, February, Food

i mentioned in my sacred gifts post that i was in provo visiting my bff ema and her husband besmir. well it also happened to be ema’s birthday the day before so i decided to make her a birthday cake.

i wanted something fabulous, fun and one of a kind {not to be cheesy but that is ema all over!}.

then i thought, rainbows are for birthday girls.

ok i didn’t really, but a couple of years ago i made a rainbow birthday cake for one of my friends and bless her she liked it but it looked like a bit of a disaster **note — there is no photographic evidence**

so naturally i wanted to try it again!

i started with 2 boxes of cake mix and food coloring.

Cake Box

Food Coloring

got mixing and went from this:


to this:


it was so much fun!

baked for about 15mins – making sure i didn’t over cook them {as i usually do!}.

then stacked the cakes and used a medium sized bowl to cut around the edges so it would be round…and when i say ‘i’, i mean my roommate as you can see from this pic!


and voila!


i had used two cans of vanilla frosting, one for the layers and one to cover the cake. my genius roommate korinne then decorated the cake with ema’s favorite flower.


it was definitely an adventure getting this cute thing down to provo in a car, but there wasn’t too much damage by the time i got there and it was delicious!

**these next few pictures are from ema’s blog our love in bloom**

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i know i’m not a professional baker of any sort but it was fun, i think it turned out ok and ema loved it {most important right?!}.

happy friday and hope you have a wonderful weekend!


sacred gifts

2014, Culture, Family and Friends, February, Religion

last saturday my bff ema, and her husband, invited me to go with them to view an art exhibition called sacred gifts down at the byu art gallery in provo utah.

it. was. absolutely. breathtaking.

sacred gifts is a collection of religious art fro m carl bloch, heinrich hofmann and frans schwartz.

Sacred Gifts

if you don’t already know, i am lds. or mormon as we are more commonly known. many of the works of art are used by the lds church. many of the paintings i recognized from my childhood. but gosh to be able to see the originals and see all the details up close.

they reminded me of why i believe in Jesus Christ. they reminded me of what He taught; to love all regardless of who they are or what weaknesses they may have. it was incredibly peaceful.

here is an excerpt from the sacred gifts site:
Sacred Gifts: The Religious Art of Carl Bloch, Heinrich Hofmann and Frans Schwartz is an all-new exhibition opening at the Brigham Young University Museum of Art on November 15, 2013.The exhibition will feature nearly two dozen beloved paintings of the life of Jesus Christ by three European master painters from the late-19th century. Most of these works have never before been on view in the United States, and are being loaned to the BYU Museum of Art under extraordinary circumstances from churches and museums in Germany, Sweden, Denmark and New York.Sacred Gifts will explore and celebrate the many precious gifts represented by these outstanding portrayals of the Savior. The BYU Museum of Art invites patrons to partake of these sacred offerings and discover the miraculous gifts that have made the exhibition possible.

and this was one of my favorites. the detail was phenomenal.

The Mocking of Christ
**the mocking of Christ by carl bloch**

ema and i took our time to look around while her husband chose one to write an essay on for one of his classes. it was incredible.

Ema and I

it is free entry and i do invite you to attend {if you are based in utah of course} — it’s worth it!


a few of my favorite things {part 1}

2014, Fashion, February


it’s about time i did a fashion post. almost a year after i started this blog! but i guess this blog has evolved since i first started it.

there are a few items in my wardrobe that i could wear everyday if i didn’t have to see the same people each day. and i love bargain shopping. because doesn’t it sound so much better when you get a compliment for an outfit and you can say “well i only got it for…”?! yes? or maybe it’s just me.

this will be a mini series of some of my favorite items from my wardrobe. all photos are taken by my gorgeous bff ema {i’m really not biased – she is stunning} — check out her fashion and lifestyle blog here.

i first fell in love in blazers when i was about 18 and looking for a new look before i began university. what i love about them is that you can wear a blazer for a formal occasion or for something more casual. with this look i was going for a smart/casual date night.


chiffon ruffle shirts
i don’t even know if these are the official names for them but i love these mostly because they are flattering. even when it’s one of those nights and i’ve eaten way-too-much-for-my-own-good.


these glorious things. dressed up or dressed down. heels, boots, flats, shirts, jackets etc. etc. i could go on. i wear leggings all year round because they go with everything and are oh-so-comfortable.



what are some of your all time favorite wardrobe items?


life lately

2014, Family and Friends, February, Food

oh the woes of first world problems. i’m leaving utah in 5 weeks so naturally i want to eat all the goodness i’m not going to be able to enjoy once i’m back in england. yet…i’m trying to lose weight in time for the miss africa utah pageant.

yes. the woes of first world problems.

anyway a colleague at work {who spent some time in england} had told me about this little café in roy, utah, that served legitimate fish and chips. well as about legitimate as you can get for utah. i was a little skeptical because i’ve had “fish and chips” before {i guess going leatherby’s – a very american restaurant – should have given it away}.

well i was wrong, and it was delicious.

and just fyi we ended up going to the one in layton, and unfortunately the one in roy is closing down.

if you’re in utah and crave a good ole’ plate of fish and chips i highly recommend the little taste of britain.

Little Taste of Britain

Fish and Chips!
***brad and korinne didn’t want a picture taken…i did it anyway and i’m not ashamed.

i really do love food.