Avo Maria

No, I didn’t make any spelling errors. I’m referring to one of my favorite produce items on the planet, the avocado. I can avocado any way it’s given to me–plain, in a smoothie, as guacamole, on myriad savory dishes, and now…in pudding.

If you’ve been reading my blog, you’ll know that I have a serious ice cream problem and am on a quest to find as many healthy substitutions to assuage my cravings. Since my chia seed pudding post (click here to read), I’ve made several different variations and make batches on a weekly basis. It hasn’t gotten boring at all and the versatility of the recipe is impressive–I’ve even made a pumpkin version and fell deeper in love with the recipe as a result. However, while in Chicago a couple of weeks ago, I was reminded of how much I missed drinking avocado smoothies from one of my favorite Vietnamese restaurants, T.A.N.K. I don’t know what voodoo they do, but no one makes an avo smoothie quite like them. Trust and know, I’ve done my research and have the healthy hair, skin and nails to prove it! Sipping the green goodness triggered me to think of other ways to incorporate avocado into my diet, namely as an ice cream substitute. Once again, the internet and diet gods chose to bless me, for I came across a great recipe for a chocolate pudding that uses avocado as its base. Experimentation was calling my name! For those of you that are interested in giving this pudding a try, here’s the recipe:

Ingredients (2 servings):
– 1 large, ripe avocado
– 2 tbsp. of cocoa powder
– 1 tbsp. Stevia (or sweetener of choice)
– 4 squares of dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa)
– Almond milk (or milk of choice)

– Cut the avocado in half, remove the stone and scoop the flesh into a dish.
– Add the cocoa powder, Stevia (or preferred sweetener), and mix well.
-In the meantime, melt the dark chocolate in a microwave, then pour it into the avocado mixture.
– Give it another good mix.

The texture should resemble a traditional pudding. If not, add almond milk a little at a time, until the pudding reaches your desired consistency.

Not only is this pudding delicious, it’s also loaded with healthy fats and fiber. Good times all around!

I’ve made this pudding a few times since my initial trial and am in love with the recipe. It’s simple, quick to make, and quite versatile. For second attempt, I added some coconut flakes and was very happy with the turnout. The third time, I sprinkled a small amount of pink Himalayan sea salt on top for added health benefits and because I’m a sucker for sweet/savory combinations. It. Was. DIVINE. A couple of nights ago, I was feeling ambitious and decided to combine my chia seed pudding recipe with this one and was blown away–it worked awesomely well.
20150422_223240I simply had to add more almond milk and use less seeds. I will definitely be adding avocado pudding to the dessert rotation as I continue on my quest for more easy healthy sweet treats.

If you decide to use this recipe, let me know what you think!

I’m Peeling!

Well, actually, I’m shedding. Which leads to the necessity of an at-home peel. Whenever I’m giving myself different skincare routines or treating skin problems, or even when the weather changes (as it is now, from winter to spring), my skin starts to look like a snake that’s shedding off its scales–not a pretty picture. I’m not trying to scare everyone in my office and lose my job! Therefore, I must get rid of these scales dead layers with a quickness. I ain’t got time for nature! Thank the skin gods for this Korean gel peel called IPKN Pore Essence Peeling Gel, that I came across while at my Chinese spa (why they don’t have Chinese products is a puzzlement to me, but I won’t analyze it–I love Korean beauty products).

Previously, I used a different peel that required me scrubbing my face till it was practically numb (click here to read), but I loved it because it worked. Now I don’t have to use my skincare routine to grow my biceps, so I’m a happy woman for this added bonus. I work out enough as it is. The IPKN gel is affordable, easy to use, smells nice, and it neither irritates the skin nor does it make you irritate/agitate it. One pump of this magic works like a pencil eraser on those scales. It literally makes them roll off like balls of gunk. Don’t believe, just watch!

I hope you saw the “skin balls” that I tried to show in the clip–I moved the camera too quickly. The peel took off the entire layer of dead skin that was just sitting on my face like a mask. I’ve been using IPKN for a couple of months to make sure my initial infatuation with the product didn’t wane. Nope! I’m still loving it and using it regularly. Until I find something that can top this, it’ll stay in my medicine cabinet.

So for now, deuces!
The Vickylicious

Natural Smiles Are the Best!

Anyone who’s known me long enough is very aware of my obsession with teeth. They’re on the top of my list of things I notice first about a person, aesthetically: how healthy, even, white/bright, and clean they are (because hopefully when people meet me they’re smiling, haha!). This also goes for my teeth; a hypocrite, I am not. I dutifully go to the dentist twice yearly, brush, floss, use mouthwash, and I even have a couple of my own dental tools! However, I drink a lot of tea and coffee, so keeping my teeth white and bright is a task that I must deal with carefully. Bleaching products are harsh, expensive, and dangerous, so I’m always looking for natural and inexpensive ways to handle the job. Most people brush with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide–I’ve been doing this for more years than I can count–but I want something that works better and stronger. Besides, using peroxide and baking soda long term can be too abrasive for your teeth and can ruin enamel over time. Well, my wish was some mystery god’s command!
WP Natural RinseThe above pic is all you need to naturally whiten your teeth without having to spend a fortune or subjecting your teeth to harsh chemicals. Unbeknownst to me, this concoction has been used for ages! Bonus: this recipe is also great for removing harmful bacteria from your mouth, which in turn strengthens your teeth and gums. See the recipe and directions for this formula below.


  • 3 cups – distilled water
  • 2 tsp – baking soda
  • 1 tsp – sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp – walnut or sesame oil

Heat 2 cups distilled water, remove from heat and add baking soda, sea salt, and oils.

Add 1 cup distilled water and mix together until ingredients are fully dissolved. Transfer mixture using a funnel into a jar with a top and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to use. Shake well before using and swish around in mouth for about 1 minute, spit out (make sure you don’t swallow any of the mixture), and brush your teeth as you normally would.
***Because this is an all natural concoction, please remember to discard the mixture after two weeks and make a fresh batch.***

Unlike many store bought rinses, this natural method contains no bleach and is perfect for removing tartar and leaves your mouth fresh and clean. Will it whiten your teeth after one treatment? No, it won’t. It will however, gradually whiten and strengthen your teeth and gums over time in a healthy, safe and natural way that won’t harm your gums and tooth enamel. This will save you a lot of money and pain in the future when you realize everyone that’s been bleaching has to buy a whole new mouth, can’t eat or drink foods due to gum erosion and intense gum sensitivity, or worse, finds out they have mouth cancer from all the chemicals and unsafe treatments. Like most things in life: slow and steady wins the race!

Because I’m always looking for home remedies for all things health and beauty related, I will probably be posting more regarding keeping our smiles healthy, happy and pearly!

Stay tuned until then (and feel free to send me pics if you try this remedy and want to share your results)…
The Vickylicious

Say It Isn’t So, Revlon.

I wanted my first post of the new year to be happy and positive, but this topic could not be swept aside. The makeup world is ablaze with all the talk regarding the Revlon lawsuit filed by former top scientist Alan Meyer, who claims the CEO Lorenzo Delpani is a racist, anti-Semitic bully. Because I don’t want to get too angry or militant while writing, and therefore not representing the statements accurately, here is an article from the New York Post:

The CEO of Revlon is a bigoted bully who hates “dirty” Americans, thinks Jews “stick together” and believes he can “smell” black people when they walk into a room, according to a new lawsuit.

The beauty company’s boss, Lorenzo Delpani, made the ugly comments after taking over in 2013, according to a discrimination suit filed by Revlon’s former top scientist, Alan Meyers, who says he was ostracized because of his Jewish heritage.

Delpani, a native of Italy, told Meyers he was “shocked” there weren’t more Jews at the company because the biggest shareholder is Ron Perelman, a prominent Jewish American, according to the suit.

“Jews stick together,” Delpani quipped. He also allegedly added that “thankfully,” Perelman “is not like that anymore.”

Delpani also said that he hates living among Americans, whom he called “small-minded” and “dirty,” and that he can’t wait to get back to a “real” country, according to court papers filed this week.

He later allegedly went on an “anti-American tirade” in which he said the US is getting closer to being like ISIS.

Meyers also claims Delpani made a racist comment after a meeting in South Africa, when he said he “could smell a black person when he entered a room.”

Meyers also claims Delpani made a racist comment after a meeting in South Africa, when he said he “could smell a black person when he entered a room.”

Meyers says Delpani had it out for him for having red-flagged safety issues in the production and manufacturing process.

Meyers claims he was concerned that several labs were not equipped to adequately test raw materials to satisfy Revlon’s safety standards.

Meyers, 56, who joined Revlon in 2010, was fired last month after he complained about the issues and his treatment, the lawsuit says.

Revlon spokeswoman Kiki Rees on Wednesday said Meyers was a disgruntled employee who did not perform up to company standards.

“Mr. Meyers repeatedly demonstrated critical lapses in judgment and failed to perform at the high standard we demand of our employees,” Rees said.

In the suit, Meyers claims Delpani’s tirades and tormenting eventually became outright bullying.

Meyers described one incident in October, when he allegedly was forced by Delpani to act as a human easel during a high-level meeting.

Meyers says he was instructed to hold a whiteboard, which covered his entire upper torso and head, for approximately 30 minutes.

He saw this as a demeaning gesture, he says, especially since he was supposed to be part of the leadership team.

Stress from the ordeal forced Meyers into the hospital with chest pains, the lawsuit says. He said he was fired on Dec. 10.

In his suit, he is demanding unspecified punitive and compensatory damages.Attorneys for

Meyers were unavailable Wednesday for comment.

Revlon CEO Delpani_Bad

Needless to say (but I’m going to say it anyway), this is disgraceful. If these claims are true, Revlon better be bracing itself for the major fallout that will ensue as a result. According Revlon’s website, the allegations are baseless and meritless. Ronald Pearlmann, their Chairman states:

“I know Lorenzo as an executive and as a person. These allegations are both absurd and offensive to me and those around me. I personally know his mind and his character. He is among the least bigoted or biased human I have ever known. He has my full support.”

Being a worldwide, famous, cosmetics brand for women of all ages and backgrounds, this is horrendous news [if true]. Will  spokeswomen like Halle Berry pull out of their contracts? Will stores pull product off of their shelves? Whether true or not, bad publicity always generates backlash immediately. From what I’ve see and heard online thus far proves it. Thousands of women have already thrown out all of the Revlon products they’ve previously purchased, many have gone back to stores to return newly-purchased makeup as a direct result of hearing this news, and many have vowed to never buy Revlon again. AND they test on animals, so that wipes out another group of women (if they weren’t already offended enough by their alleged treatment of humans).

If you’ve read my blog before, you’ll know that I’m big fan of Revlon’s Colorstay Foundation, to the point that I hoarded the whipped version in my shade because it was discontinued (click here to read). I also have several shades of their awesome lipsticks–what’s a makeup junkie to do? Should I wait to see if Delpani is guilty before tossing everything? Do I stop wearing all Revlon products in the meantime? Or should I just say screw it and throw everything in the trash now? I’m so conflicted.

Yes I know…first world problems. The world won’t end, wars won’t be won or lost over this, and it won’t be mentioned in our children’s history books. However, people’s lives will be affected–and I don’t mean on the superficial level (my level, admittedly); this could cost people their jobs, affecting the livelihoods of many. Let’s see what happens.

On the plus side, this will clear a nice amount of space on my shelf.

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: An OMG Post

What did Plato say way back when? “Necessity is the mother of Invention?” Well, Invention, meet your other mothers: Laziness, Exasperation, and Convenience.

As you already know from previous posts (if you’re a regular The Vickylicious reader), I’ve been experimenting with different foundations since I used up a beloved jar of RCW. My latest drugstore excursion (of which there are many, thanks to having a 24-hour Duane Reade downstairs from my building) has me trying out L’Oréal Magic Nude Liquid Powder. I can tell from the colors that there isn’t going to be an exact match for me, so I buy two shades: Sun Beige 328 and Classic Tan 330. I pray to the foundation goddesses that this will be worth the investment and run home (upstairs) to my mirror.


Liquid is right! I shake up the bottles and attempt to pour a little of each shade onto the back of my hand (my all-natural, homemade mixing palette) and I have to make sure to keep it steady so none of it will run down my arm. I can already foresee this process disrupting my morning routine, but I press on to see if the results will be worth it. Fingers crossed for tomorrow morning…

This morning… My, oh my, is it ever worth it!

This formula truly dries to a powdery smooth finish; the coverage is medium, yet buildable to a full and matte finish. I can’t stop touching my skin; it’s so soft and smooth! I just dab some concealerunder my eyes, a little blush on my cheeks, dress my lashes and go—NO setting powder needed. Oh yeah, remember I told you that I had a bad breakout recently? Well, you can’t tell with this lovely product.


And look, I even took pics in bad office lighting so you could see its true effect and finish. The picture on the left was taken at 8:46AM and the picture on the right was taken at 3:16PM. Can you see how nothing at all has changed? Everything is still in place and just as fresh as the initial application. Again, this is without using primer, setting powder or spray. I’d say that these are pretty impressive results; possibly the best I’ve had thus far. (As always, no retouching, editing or filters are used on my photos.)

But, pray tell, what did I do about the pesky, messy process? Queue Plato and let’s rewind back to last night.

Once I saw how runny the Liquid Powder was, and knowing I would have to blend two shades of it every time–potentially creating twice the mess—I looked high and low in my kitchen for a container and stopped mid-search when a light bulb flickered in my brain. This formula is just as thin as the ones used for airbrush applications; why don’t I create my own? I went back downstairs to the drugstore in search of a travel-size spray bottle. SCORE!


Upstairs at my sink, I poured the contents of both Liquid Powders into my new bottle.  Donning a shower cap to protect my hair, I shook up the bottle to blend the shades and product (as the directions dictated), then held my breath. Of course the spritz wasn’t as fine and light as an actual airbrush machine, but it definitely did the trick for a quick-fix home remedy. Using it this morning was simple, quick, and a lot less fuss and messiness. I blended it all in with my buffing brush.

Final answer: OMG. I am in love with this product. Lightweight with good coverage, it doesn’t oxidize and there’s little to no transfer. It doesn’t break up and I haven’t had to blot or touch up all day. I can already predict that this will take 2nd Place on my list of drugstore favorites, knocking Covergirl Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 to 3rd. Do I dare say it might become No. 1…?
Thank you, foundation goddesses. Thank you for this gift.

OH! And L’Oréal, I’d like to present to you the new [patent pending] Vickylicious shade: Suntan 329 in a travel-friendly spritzer. 😉

Love Does a Hoarder Make

As many people may know, I am constantly on the hunt for the perfect foundation that checks off all of my personal boxes (as stated in my intro post). I do not discriminate on whether it’s drugstore or high-end, $5.00 or $55.00; perfection comes in many forms and I will not miss out just because I’m not an equal opportunity employer. Therefore, I must try them all. All!

Certain brands are only good for a couple of products; just recently are we coming across lines that have winners in almost every category. One such drugstore brand is Revlon. Every line in their lips, eyes, and face categories are full of winners, so much so that Revlon is hands down one of the best drugstore brands (if not the best) in the US, with L’Oreal a close 2nd (in my humble opinion, of course). Even their once lackluster mascaras are improving in quality; their Grow Luscious line is pretty fantastic. I digress.

Until last year, Revlon’s ColorStay Liquid Makeup was my favorite drugstore foundation. I loved her for many reasons: At a great retail price, she has a vast shade range, lasts almost all day, has minimal transfer, and comes in different formulas that cater to various skin types. Not only does this foundation offer buildable coverage, she leaves a breathable, natural look and feel on the skin.  I cheated on my love briefly with Cover Girl’s new 3-in-1 Stay Fabulous Foundation (primer, foundation and concealer in one product) and thought a divorce might be in order because CG 3-in-1 is quite the saucy minx. I hadn’t been able to completely swear off of her, and I think Revlon caught wind of my dalliance. One sunny day this past May, I was fondling CG 3-in-1 in the makeup aisle when something in my periphery nabbed my full attention: RC was back and better than ever! She got a whole new look and formula, one I knew I had to try. I told CG I’d be back later because something came up and I had to run. On May 22nd, 2013 Revlon ColorStay Whipped Crème Makeup launched and changed my life. I picked up my tried-and-true shade (Toast #410) and ran home so we could spend some time alone. I undressed her and felt her silky smoothness on my skin. She was neither heavy nor cakey; she was just right in every way. Blendable, buildable, sleek and luxurious, RC looked good and felt even better. I was truly, madly, deeply in love with her all over again!

Then she stabbed me in the back. She knew what she was doing and had it all planned. Once RC had sunk her teeth into me–deeply–she discontinued my shade. Searching over hill and dale for one year to find her, I thought all hopes of reuniting were lost. Then yesterday happened.


On my way home from a bad day at work, I thought I’d cheer myself up by going to a place called Cosmetics Show, a discount beauty and tchotchke store. There wasn’t anything too impressive and it was actually kind of depressing in there, but a little voice in my head told me to press on. Thank the foundation gods that I did! There she was, Revlon ColorStay Whipped Crème Makeup #410 in all her splendor, jar upon jar of her just sitting there waiting for me to hold her in my arms. I stopped in my tracks, held my breath and tried to still my pounding heart. Sweat started trickling down the hollow of my back and my eyes glazed over. The little old sales lady asked me if I was alright in Spanish (because people always think I can speak Spanish) and grabbed my hand like only a caring abuelita could. I gathered myself and told her I was fine, but she interrupted me to let me know that everything Revlon was BOGO. I was floored. Trying to regain my composure for the second time, I cradled six glass jars and made for the cashier after proffering many thanks (in Spanish, natch). I practically skipped all the way home, my bad work day far behind me.

Needless to say, I’ll be going back to abuelita this weekend to buy out the entire inventory, regardless of my lack of storage space. Call me a hoarder all you want. I don’t care I don’t care I don’t care I don’t care!

I’m a hoarder with a purpose.

(And yes, I wore her today.)