How To Clean Makeup Brushes

how to clean makeup brushes I must confess that when it comes to cleaning makeup brushes I’ve been committing two major sins. For starters, I’ve been cleaning them with dish soap….as in the soap you wash dishes with….as in something that shouldn’t be put on your face…as in what-was-this-girl-with-sensitive-skin-thinking. There’s just so many issues with that that I’m just going to keep moving right along to sin number two. I almost never wash my brushes. And all that I have to say about that is…..*cringe*. Needless to say, this recent bout of skin issues gave me a little reminder that maybe cleaning my brushes, NOT with dish soap, would be a good idea. So I revamped my routine (not that you can call dish soap every 6 months a routine) to one that would be better suited for my sensitive and highly allergic skin (no harsh soaps needed) and for my brushes (the oil is good for moisturizing and helping your brushes last longer). Here’s how to clean makeup brushes naturally and safely-

Olive oil (You can also use hemp seed oil)
A mild, chemical-free fragrance-free castille soap (I use Dr. Bronner’s baby soap)
Small bowls
A towel

1. Prep a work area in which to clean your brushes. Lay out your towel, fill a small bowl with a few drops of olive oil, and fill another bowl with warm water and a few drops of soap. (This picture below is of some of the brushes before they are cleaned.)

How To Clean Makeup Brushes (natural + good for sensitive & allergy prone skin) || Runway Chef 2. Take your first brush and start swishing it around in the olive oil, slightly pressing down on the brush as you go. Do this for a few seconds, or until the color stops coming out of the bristles. 

how to naturally clean makeup brushes 3. Next, swirl the brush around in the soapy water. Because oil and water don’t mix (just in case you forgot) the makeup should come off in little bubbles (although this won’t be as noticeable for things like eye shadow and blush).

how to clean makeup brushes if you have sensitive skin 4. Give the brush a final rinse under plain warm water, then pat it dry with the towel. If it seems like more makeup is still on the bristles, repeat the rinsing process again. If not, leave it laying out for at least 6 hours so it can fully dry.

how to clean makeup brushes 5. Repeat until all of your brushes are clean, changing out the oil and soapy water every few brushes. For the best results, I find that I can do all my eyeliner/eyeshadow/powder brushes with one batch of oil and water, but for foundation brushes I need to switch out the oil and the water each time. The foundation brushes also require a little more oil and soap as well as more pressure on the brush and really using your hands to get all the makeup off. (This picture below is an after shot of the brushes from the first picture now that they are all clean.)

how to clean makeup brushes naturally If you need to brush up on your makeup brush basics (i.e. which ones you need and which brushes to use for what), see here.

Dress & Dine – Outdoor Pizza & Movie Night

Dress & Dine - Outdoor Pizza & Movie Night || Runway Chef My favorite nights are always the ones that happen to include pizza and movies. I mean, what could possibly be better than lounging in comfy clothes, stuffing your face and zoning out to a movie? Obviously, pretty much nothing. Unless of course you take said movie night and move it outdoors. Warm summer nights? Grilled pizza? Backyard lounging? Yes, yes, and yes! Read on for all my tips on hosting an outdoor pizza and movie night in this month’s Dress & Dine, and, in the comments, I would love to know what your favorite pizza toppings are as well as your favorite movie! 

what to wear to a pizza party Dress// I don’t know about you but when I think pizza and a movie, I think comfy, comfy, comfy. If I’m staying in, you better believe I’ll be in sweats and an over-size tee with my hair in the messiest of buns. If I’m going out the sweats get replaced by leggings, and if I’m going with someone other than my husband the leggings get replaced by boyfriend jeans (sometimes). Regardless of the bottom half, the bun and oversized tee remain constants. For this outdoor pizza extravaganza, I updated the jeans and tee look to something more appropriate for summer entertaining. Regular jeans were replaced by white ripped jeans, I went with a t-shirt that wasn’t oversized (and was nice and bright for warm weather), and my messy bun became a neater, tighter bun (at least until the humidity hit it).  Of course, some fun earrings were needed to tie the look together and make it party appropriate.

how to host an outdoor pizza and movie night Dress & Dine - Outdoor Pizza & Movie Night || Runway Chef

Dine// Having a “make-your-own pizza bar” is one of the easiest entertaining ideas you’ll ever do. Set-up a variety of toppings (the options are endless so have as many or as few as you want) and pizza dough balls (you can pre-make these ahead of time, just roll them in flour so that they don’t stick to each other) and you’re good to go. Since this pizza party was an outdoor affair, I kept the toppings more summer-appropriate. Mr. RC stuck to grilled veggies and mozzarella on his pizza, while I did proscuitto, arugula, peaches, sautéed onions, sage, truffle cheese, parmesan cheese, and balsamic drizzle on mine. Here’s a complete list of all the toppings we had:

  • Proscuitto
  • Arugula
  • Tomatoes
  • Grilled zucchini, yellow squash, and asparagus
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Sautéed mushrooms, onions and peppers
  • Peaches, sliced
  • Fresh herbs (basil, rosemary, sage)
  • Cheese (mozzarella, parmesan, truffle cheese)
  • Olive oil and balsamic vinegar glaze

Of course, you can’t forget about dessert! We decided to do s’mores pizzas as they are super easy and probably taste better than an actual s’more (although the verdict is still out on this one). Here’s what you need for your s’mores pizzas:

  • Graham crackers
  • Marshmallows (mini or regular size work)
  • Dark chocolate chunks (can also use chocolate chips)
  • Peanut butter chips (butterscotch would also be a great flavor to have)

For the pizza dough, there are many affordable and healthy pre-made dough options. Orrrrr, you could just make my 5 minute pizza dough recipe that requires no kneading, no waiting time, and no rising. Yes, you read that right. Yes, this is basically the best thing since sliced bread, or sliced pizza. Either way, it’s the best. My Mom started making this recipe years ago and then passed it on to me. It’s the only pizza dough recipe I’ve ever used and, since it’s the best pizza crust I’ve ever had, I’m going to say it’s the only pizza dough recipe I’m ever going to use. A bold statement I know, but trust me. And if you don’t, just make this dough so you can see taste for yourself. 

meat and cheese plate grilled vegetables sauteed mushrooms, peppers and onions outdoor tabletop decor s'mores pizza pizza party grilled summer pizza grilled pizza grilled vegetable pizza arugula and proscuitto pizza grilled s'mores pizza outdoor pizza party

5-Minute Pizza Dough
The easiest and tastiest pizza dough you'll ever make; no knead, no rise, no wait and ready in 5 minutes
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
  1. 2 teaspoons of yeast
  2. 2 tablespoons of sugar
  3. 1 cup warm water
  4. 2 tablespoons oil (I use vegetable or olive oil)
  5. 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  6. 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  1. In a large bowl, mix together the water, yeast and sugar. Add in the salt, then the oil and finally the flour. You can then proceed to use the dough immediately or let it rest for up to 30 minutes. I've also covered the dough with plastic wrap and kept it in the fridge for 24 hours before using it.
  2. To use the dough, preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Prepare your baking pan (or cast iron skillet or pizza stone). I spray mine with oil then sprinkle it with a dusting of fine cornmeal. Spread your dough onto the pan then top with your favorite toppings. For a baking sheet, bake the pizza for about 20 minutes. For a cast iron skillet, start with the pan on a medium heat burner for 5 minutes, then bake for 15 minutes. For a pizza stone, bake 15-20 minutes. For the grill, preheat your pizza stone for about 20 minutes. Cook the pizza on the stone for about 5-6 minutes or until the edges are golden-brown.
  3. This makes enough dough for for one 10"x13" baking sheet, 2 12" skillets, 1 pizza stone or about 7-8 mini pizzas.
  1. Use extra flour or cornmeal on the dough and your fingers when you are pressing the dough into the pan. It will keep it from sticking to your fingers and will help the dough to spread out more easily.
Runway Chef

Happy Hour

tossed salad {A salad topped off with goods from our garden (green beans, cherry tomatoes, peppers, & herbs)}

Soooo, July is basically over. Which means summer is basically over. Which means we are officially into the second half of the year. Full stop. Can we discuss how this happened? Preferably over a few of these, because, let’s be real, I’m going to need some alcohol to numb the pain of another month slipping away. I mean, I’ve only gone to the beach once, (forget about going to a pool), I can’t remember the last time I grilled a hamburger on our grill, and I have 2 brand new swimsuits that I have yet to wear. Either I clearly need to plan my life better, 2014 just needs to slow down…..or I just need to have another one of these!

Hope you’re having a great week and savoring these last days of July! 

NYC photos {Old black & white photos of NY I bought at a garage sale long before NY living was even on the horizon. Now, 4 years later, I’m pulling them out of storage as they finally fit in our NY apartment.}

Arsenal vs. Redbulls Soccer Game {After Runway Chef, the thing that Mr. RC is a biggest fan of, is the English football (soccer) team Arsenal. This past weekend, they came to NY to play against the Red Bulls so of course we had to go. Mr. RC requested a picture of the soccer game be included in this week’s HH post, and obviously I couldn’t say no!}

chickens {A couple months back, on one of our walks, we happened upon some chickens…in Brooklyn…I know. I was shocked too. Now, I make a point to go by that park and visit with the chickens on a regular basis. Not only do I love seeing something so country in the city, but it also reminds me of my Mom and brother, who raise chickens in their backyard.}

gold brackets {Gold-spray painted brackets look so much better then plain ol’ black brackets…but then again, what doesn’t look good with a little metallic spray paint?!}

If you never try you'll never know {source unknown}


Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Pineapple Upside Down Cake || Runway Chef When Mr. RC requested pineapple upside down cake for his birthday, I of course had to oblige (wifely duties call). It’s one of our favorite cakes, what with the moist dough and the crunchy, caramel topping. But, per usual, I can never let a good recipe just be (whoever said “Don’t mess with a good thing!” clearly hadn’t met me) so this time I was determined to find a few ways to switch up the old pineapple upside down cake recipe and make it into something just a little more special. So I added lots of coconut flavors (because have you been to a tropical island?! Pineapple and coconut were just meant to be together.. obvs!) and I baked it in a skillet (because everything tastes better in a skillet, double obvs). The results? One happy birthday boy and one clean cake pan. I knew there was a method to my recipe changing madness…

pineapple upside down cake recipe on Runway Chef skillet pineapple upside down cake recipe for pineapple upside down cake pineapple upside down cake made in a skillet

Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Serves 8
A light and moist cake with a crispy, caramelized topping and hints of tropical coconut, making it perfect for summer
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr
  1. 1/4 cup butter
  2. 1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  3. 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  4. 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  5. 20-ounce can pineapple rings in juice, drained (reserve juice for the cake)
  1. 3 tablespoons butter
  2. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  3. 1/2 cup white sugar
  4. 1 large egg
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  7. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  8. 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  9. 1/4 cup coconut milk
  10. 1/4 cup pineapple juice (reserved from the rings)
For the coconut cream
  1. 1 can of full-fat coconut milk, chilled
  2. Sugar, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Next, you will prepare the topping. In a 10-12 inch cast iron skillet set over a burner on medium heat, add all of the topping ingredients, minus the pineapple rings (butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and spices). Cook, stirring constantly, until the butter has melted, everything has combined and the mixture begins to bubble, about 3-5 minutes. Turn the burner off. Lay the pineapple rings on top of the brown sugar mixture (7 rings fit in the pan I used), then set the pan aside.
  3. To make the cake, begin by creaming together the butter and sugars in the bowl of stand mixer. Next, beat in the egg, salt, baking powder and vanilla. Lastly, alternate adding in the flour with the liquids (pineapple juice and coconut milk), making sure to not over mix.
  4. Pour the cake batter over the pineapple rings. The batter is really thick so you will definitely need a spatula to help spread it around. Also, don't be worried if the pineapple is showing through the batter or if it barely covers the pan. It will spread out and rise as it bakes.
  5. Bake the cake for 18-30 minutes (depends on your oven and the size of the pan you used....mine was a 12 inch skillet so it only took 18 minutes to bake), or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  6. Once the cake is done, remove it from the oven and let it cool for 15-20 minutes. Then, gently run a knife around the edge, place a serving plate on top, grasp the plate and the pan with both hands and flip it over. Gently tap the bottom of the pan all over, then slowly lift the pan off, using your knife to help loosen anything that might be stuck.
  7. To make the coconut whipped cream, open your can of coconut milk and separate the thick cream part from the watery liquid. Place the thick cream in a mixing bowl and begin beating it on medium-high speed. Add in as little or as much sugar as you would like. I don't like thinks overly sweet so I only used about 2 tablespoons. Continue whipping for a few minutes, until soft peaks form. Please note: unlike traditional whipped cream, this doesn't stay stiff forever. As it warms up, it will begin to thin slightly, but simply placing it back in the fridge will get it nice and thick again. It also tastes great thinned out, so if you don't feel like re-whipping it, don't worry!
  8. Serve the cake warm with a dollop of coconut cream. Store remaining coconut cream in an airtight container in the fridge. The cake should be tightly wrapped with plastic wrap and will last about 2 days on the counter, or about 4-5 days if stored in the fridge.
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
Runway Chef
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White Vision

Necessary Clothing White Maxi Dress This isn’t the first time I’ve worn an all-white (or mostly white) ensemble (see here and here) and I know it won’t be the last. See, when I am completely lost in the depths of despair (otherwise known as my closet) I find that the only road out of that abysmally black whole is a one-lane road named “monochrome”.  In the winter, it’s typically monochrome black and in the summer it’s monochrome white. Wearing an all-white ensemble makes me feel light and fresh and about 10 degrees cooler (perfect for our humid NY summers and the crazy, frizzy head of hair that it gives me). It also makes me feel like I should be at a garden party or on a boat, which luckily I was, as I wore it to Mr. RC’s birthday dinner. The only thing it doesn’t make me feel? Like I should be eating a pizza….or a burger…or drinking red wine…or basically anything with color in it. Because let’s be honest, we all know I will never be the girl who can wear white and not spill on it…

Necessary Clothing white dress white dress + white sandals White maxi summertime white maxi Necessary Clothing Dress (in stores, this one is similar though) // Thrifted Clutch (similar) // Report Signature Shoes // Old Navy Earrings (sold in stores) // Bracelet from Barbados

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