Another Pinterest-inspired NOTD! This one is really simple, but still different. I love it! I'm starting to get more comfortable in my new job, but still not comfortable enough to go for very bright or very dark nails. My nail lady helped me find the perfect grey shade, and glitter. I'm really happy with how it turned out. The inspiration photo had really chunky glitter on the party nail, but I wanted fine glitter. As usual, I don't know what colors were used because it's just gel from my lady. But you get the idea. I know NYC makes a regular nail polish similar to this grey. So check that out if you want to achieve a similar look!
Friday, March 7, 2014
I love my latest pedi. As usual, I did it myself. I can't paint my own hands if my life depended on it. But I'm all over my toes. Plus, I hate the feeling of other people touching my feet. I decided to go with this color scheme because it's one of my favorites on earth...these were actually our wedding colors. Plus, I recently received the white polish from my Intro Julep Maven Box, and I was dying to test it out. Here is what I used:
- Zoya Lola: A gorgeous hot pink with blue undertones. This is one of my all-time favorite hot pink polishes. With the first coat, I was a little worried, because it was very sheer. But by the second coat, it looked amazing. I did apply a third coat just in case.
- Milani Gold Glitz: I love this glitter because it is sooooo full-coverage. This is two coats with no base color! You could get by with only one coat. I just like to be excessive.
- Julep Bunny: This is the nicest white polish I've ever worked with. Part of the reason I've always hated white polish on my hands is that it usually looks like your nails have been painted with white out. This does have gold micro glitter, but sadly it doesn't show up on my nails. It just looks like a pure, opaque white. I used two coats. I didn't absolutely need my streak-free trick, but I did it anyway...to be safe.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Hey all! In my January Favorites & Unfavorites, I told you about how I had been using The Balm skin care products, and my skin was looking atrocious as a result! I stuck to those items for the whole month because a) I wanted to give them a fair try, and b) I was on a semi-no buy. But as soon as February first rolled around, I ditched those products. As much as it pains me to just discard almost entire bottles of product...I couldn't justify keeping them around at the expense of my skin.
I take my skin care very seriously. I used to have great skin, but in my adult years, I developed Rosacea, and I do get hormonal breakouts. As of February 1st, I enrolled my face in Skin Care Boot Camp. I won't bore you with a day-by-day. I'll just kind-of break it down by category and go more in-depth with items I haven't previously talked about. This will be a word-heavy post, y'all...grab a snack!
My Note-To-Self List on February 1st:
- Get rid of my The Balm products!! When in doubt, listen to Jackie Chiles. Don't put The Balm on!
- Switch to brands and/or products my skin has been happy with in the past.
- Be VERY STRICT about washing my Beauty Blender every-other-day. I know that may seem like a lot, but since I use it wet anyway, it's very easy to keep up with this one.
- Never ever sleep in makeup. AND, try to remove it as soon as I get home every day (I usually leave it on until I get ready for bed).
- Use calming masks more often. I had fallen by the wayside on my Milk of Magnesia mask.
Masks and Scrubs!
- Dermalogica Cooling Mask: I just had a sample of this, so I started off the month by using it. I got one full-face use and an additional problem area use out of it. I was excited when I squeezed it out of the packet, because it was blue! I have been wanting to try those cool blue masks lately...but it was clear on my face, so that was less exciting. However, I did like the look and feel of my skin after washing it off. Quick tip: wash this off in the shower. It's so slimy, and really takes some effort to wash off over the sink.
- Dermalogica Hydrating Mask: I had a little trial tube of this and got a good four or five uses out of it. I honestly don't know if it does a whole lot, but I had it, I used it, and my skin isn't dry. So...that's that!
- Milk of Magnesia: I love how this calms my redness down. I tried to use it at least once a week.
- Lush Mask of Magnaminty: I did use this regularly during my month of crappy skin, and continued to use it regularly this month. I've talked about this a lot, and I still stand by it!
- Glam Glow Youth Mud & Super Mud: I continued to use these, because I'm trying to use them up. I love them both. I don't like using my Dermatouch exfoliator every day, so I like using the Youth Mud for less intense exfoliation.
- Montagne Jeunnesse Tea Tree Face Spa: I only used this once, because I only bought one of them. ;) I just wanted to include it because I did use it.
- H2O+ : This is actually my husband's body scrub, but I use it on my face in the shower. When used alone, it's a pretty heavy duty exfoliator, but I mix it with my Philosophy cleanser, and it gives me a very mild exfoliation.
- Dermalogica Clear Start Foaming Wash: I've used this before, and I already knew I liked it. So I was excited to receive a trial size from my friend. I used this in place of my The Balm stupid cleanser.
- Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel: I continued to use this with my Dermatouch exfoliator until I ran out. I hadn't used it all through January, and forgot how little I actually had left in the bottle. So it didn't last long.
- Philosophy Purity Cleanser and Makeup Remover: I always use this in the shower. I love it. I also used it with my Dermatouch when I ran out of the Special Cleansing Gel.
- Lush Ultrabland Facial Cleanser: This stuff is heavenly for removing makeup! You just slather a little all over, and your makeup literally melts off. Even though they recommend cotton pads to remove it, I used my Maybelline makeup wipes. I was super impressed because when using my Dermatouch afterward, there wasn't all that makeup that's usually left behind when I only use my wipes. Plus, my skin always felt soooo hydrated after using this. It's just luxurious...I love it!
- Yonka Toner: I only had a tiny bit left. I used it for the first few days, and picked up a new toner once it ran out.
- Lush Tea Tree Water: I decided to switch to this because Lush is a brand I've really come to trust and my skin likes tea tree oil. I love the feel of this stuff. Usually, when I spray toners on, I feel like, "I have something on my face." This spray is so light and yummy. I feel like my skin drinks it in. Plus it smells great! I also spritzed it on after my makeup. Because the girl at Lush told me to and she had cool hair ;)
- Dermalogica Clear Start Daytime Treatment: I'd tried a few things from the Clean Start line in the past. I love the consistency of this one. It's a little gel-ish, a little lotion-y. It just feels luscious on my skin. Also it has a really light banana smell...I happen to love that.
- Lush Enzymion: I'd been using this every morning for a while now, and I switched it to my night-time moisturizer while I was using Clean Start in the mornings...then back to the morning when I picked up my Gorgeous sample. Confusing. Sorry.
- Lush Gorgeous: There is literally nothing in the world that does what Gorgeous does. I had picked up a sample of this a while ago and I fell in love. However, it's extremely expensive and I couldn't bring myself to purchase it. So I got another sample instead. Is that bad? I do use it at night time, because has a strong rose smell. I can't stand that smell, but the results are like no other. So I use it before I go to bed, that way I don't have to smell it for very long. I know some people LOVE this smell. It's just not for me. Florals and I do NOT mix. That being said...I know I'll end up purchasing this in the near future. It's just that amazing.
- Dermalogica Clear Start Bedtime for Breakouts: This formula is a little more jelly-like than the daytime treatment. I had a trial of this as well. I used it most nights, sometimes combined with Gorgeous. I had a trial of this, but I think it's now called "Overnight Treatment."
- Ahava serum: I got a few samples of this, and each sample lasted me a few days--a little more than a week total. I really like the consistency of this product. I love serums, and I don't use them enough. So I was happy to have these samples.
- Studio Gear CC Cream: I really loved what this did for my skin in December. I hardly used it in January, and obviously regretted it. I tried to remember to use it every day, but there were a few times I didn't think about it until AFTER my foundation was on. Oh well :(
Did I stick to my to-do list?
I know it seems like a lot to keep up with, but I didn't use all of these products every single day. I masked at least three days a week. There were two weeks in there where I was home all day (I quit one job and waited to start the next), so I actually masked a lot more. And like I mentioned a couple of times, some of the products I used until they ran out and then switched to something else.
Overall, my skin has seen vast improvement. I wouldn't call it perfect, but it's definitely a start. And never again will I use any skin care products from The Balm! This whole experience has actually put me off to that brand in general :( However, I feel like now that I'm back to "normal," I can continue with a less-intense skin care routine. Once I figure out which products I'll be sticking with, I will definitely post an updated skin care routine...stay tuned!
Monday, March 3, 2014
You guys already know I love this product. Duh, it was in my February Favorites. But now I'm going to tell you how much I love it and why! I actually had another post queued up for today, but this palette got so much love in my favorites post, that I had to go ahead and let you all see it in all it's glory!
- The packaging. I love the whole Dia De Los Muertos motif.
- The story behind the theme. If you watch Kat Von D talk about this palette on Sephora's YouTube, she gives a really lovely description.
- The shades. Ugh....this is so pretty and girly but still edgy.
- The "transformer" shade. This is one of the coolest things ever. I don't have anything like it.
- Kind-of chalky. You have to be careful when applying to avoid tons of fall-out. I just make sure I tap off my brush before applying any shadow. I like to do my foundation before my eye shadow for whatever reason, so I'm used to being extra careful. But if you do your eye shadow first, you can always just go to town and wipe out any fallout later.
- The transformer shade doesn't super work well with all of the shadows - particularly the matte shades. It does have more success with the deeper shimmery shades.
Ummm, highly recommend, if you hadn't figured that out by now!! I love the whole concept behind this palette. PLUS, it's very well executed. I've loved creating looks with this palette so far, and I know I'll get a TON of use out of it. I'm so glad I got this, especially with Spring rolling in! And now, allow me to spam you with a few of the looks I created using this magical palette...
Eyes: KVD Santeria, Archangel, Dayglo. Sugarpill Bulletproof
Lashes: Bare Minerals Flawless Definition Mascara. Dose of Colors Double Dose Lashes
Lips: MAC Snob Lipstick. Dose of Colors Attitude Lip Gloss
Eyes: KVD Archangel, Dayglo, Placebo
Liner: Physicians Formula Eye Booster in Ultra Black
Lashes: Bare Minerals Flawless Definition Mascara
Lips: MAC Creme de Nude over WnW Fergie Daily
|Inspired by Kat Von D's makeup in the YouTube video above.|
Eyes: KVD Placebo, South, Dog Roses, Dayglo. Mac Kidd
Lashes: Bare Minerals Flawless Definition Mascara
Liner: Physicians Formula Eye Booster in Ultra Black
This was my first attempt at this type of liner. Let me just tell you...it's super hard! But I liked the end result nevertheless.
Sunday, March 2, 2014
A while ago, I realized my mascara habit was getting a little out of control. I have one drawer in my Muji box dedicated to mascara. It was full, and I had a new mascara to try to shove in there. So I decided that from that point on, if I wanted a new mascara, I had to get rid of one too. It's a pretty sad way to live, but I'm coping. Recently, my friend sent me two new mascaras, so I had to make room for them. Here's what happened...
- NYX Le Frou Frou: I've tried this one a couple of times. So far, I really like it! It reminds me a little of the results I get with Rimmel Scandaleyes Retro Glam.
- Bare Minerals Flawless Definition: When I first saw the brush on this one, I was a little put off. However, it's quickly become my favorite mascara. I've used it nearly every day. It makes my bottom lashes look unbelievably long and full.
- Covergirl Clump Crusher: I really loved this mascara. I've talked about it a few times before, and featured it in last month's Bought It/Forgot It. It just eventually went dry, so it had to go.
- Maybelline Mega Plus Volume Express: I did like this one the first few times I used it. But it quickly lost its powers and became a bench warmer. Bye, girl!
Friday, February 28, 2014
This was a short little month, but it saw a LOT of action...completely by accident. First, let's get to my favorite part...the Favorites, of course!
- Lorac Pro Palette: I'm so glad my friend sent this to me! It's been a great addition to my collection. There was only one shade in the whole palette I didn't really care for. Other than that...my eyes are happy.
- Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Brush #12: Obviously, I loved this brush. I wrote more in-depth about it recently, so I won't bore you with how great I think it is. ;)
- Lush Tea Tree Water and Ultrabland Cleanser: I'm loving Lush more and more these days. My skin is eternally grateful to them, and I've been loving these two products! Tea Tree Water is a toner, and Ultrabland is a cleanser/makeup remover. I will write more about these in a skin care post coming up.
- Dose of Colors Lip Gloss in Attitude: I've gotten so much use out of this gloss! I meant to save it til Spring, but it's been over 70 degrees here, so I cheated. Oh well! Even though I don't feel like it's a stand-alone gloss as everyone else out there seems to think, I use it over Mac's Snob, and it gives me the most perfect Barbie lips ever.
- Eyetini Shadow Tint in Spiced Rum: I didn't think I'd love this as much as I do, but I was pleasantly surprised. It served as a great base and also looks great on its own. Thanks Ipsy!
- City Color Be Matte Blush in Fresh Melon: Another Ipsy item in my favorites for the month! I'm on a roll!! This blush is absolutely gorgeous and I just love the texture. It looks great on. I even used it on my eyes as a transition shade a couple of times, for more coppery and pink looks. It worked really well for me.
- Kat Von D Esperanza Palette: Holy moly, this palette is awesome! It was my first KVD eye shadow purchase, and I'm super happy so far. I'll have a full review on this soon. For now, let me just tell you...it's a must have!
I don't have any true unfavorites, but I do have an "eh" item. siiiiigh...
- Dose of Colors Lipstick in Dark Secrets: I do like this lipstick, but the color is way more red-toned than I expected. Also, it stains like crazy. It's just not as amazing as all the reviews I've seen of the brand's other lipsticks. I will probably still try more of their products some day. This shade just sadly isn't going to be a go-to like I hoped it would be. BUT, it's still use-able and I know it won't be going to waste.
Feel free to link to your monthly faves in the comments below!
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Welcome to another edition of Get This/Not that. This one is ultra special, because there are TWO of "this," and one of "that." Now, I'm no expert...this is just based on my personal opinion of what has worked (and not worked) for me. But I love doing these posts, so I hope you enjoy them as well!
Get This (or This!)
- Anastasia Beverly Hills Duo Ended Brow Brush #12: $18 at Ulta or Sephora. I really hesitated to get this brush, because I already owned both of the other things I'll be talking about. But since I recently purchased her brow pomade, I thought...maybe it's one of those things where it works best if you use all their products. YES, folks. This is how I talk myself into buying new things. Anyway, I really love this brush. It quickly took over as my favorite brow brush. I do use it with her brow pomade in Ebony on the ends of my brows. Then I use my other "get this" brush on the rest of my brows with my MUFE Aqua Brow #25. It makes defining my brows SO easy! The one thing I don't like about it is that the spoolie end doesn't have a cap. I keep my brows standing in a cup, so this is the only brush I have to keep separate, because I don't want to ruin the spoolie. I just keep it with my brow products, but I don't really like doing that.
- SOHO Brow Brush: $12 at CVS as part of the "Smokey Eye Set." This may or may not be intended as a brow brush. I bought it in a set of three brushes. I fell in love with it as a brow brush, though. If I hadn't met the ABH brush, this would be my favorite. As a matter of fact, before that ABH brush came along, I had no idea my life was missing anything. This brush is almost the exact same in width and length. The main thing I don't like as much is that it's not as flat. So you really have to be careful to not get a thicker line than you want.
|Soho Brush. You can see the bristles aren't as neat as the|
ABH brush. But pretty close to the same brush.
If I had to choose between the two for quality, ABH would be the winner. But for the price, the Soho brush is a worthy opponent. Especially since it came with two other brushes that I really love.
- ELF Small Angled Brush: This was the first brush I ever used on my brows. It actually does a pretty good job. The thing is...even though it is super cheap, it's just not as good as the other two. It's not a solid "don't get this product, ever" for me. It's not horrible at all. But the other two brushes are just far superior to this one. If you want an "ok" brush, this is your guy. But if you want a really great brush...this one doesn't quite cut it. It's the most narrow of the three, and the thickest. It's harder to get a nice line with it...when using it on the tail, it gets rather messy. If you're a fan of having to clean up your brows after doing them, you may not mind that. However, I don't like having to do that.
|Elf Small Angled Brush. I struggled to get a good picture, but|
I think you can tell it's not as sharp and flat as the other two.
Let me know if you guys have tried any of these brushes, and what you think of them! If you end up with one, feel free to leave a link to your post in the comments. Don't forget to check out my other posts from this series:
Monday, February 24, 2014
I received a trial of this hair mask in my latest Ipsy bag. I've heard great things about NUME, but I've never tried any of their products because, let's be honest, they're freakin expensive. I tried to find this exact product on their website, but I wasn't able to locate it. I don't know the exact cost of a full size, but I'm guessing it's somewhere between $20-$35. I just bought a jar of my usual Organix mask for $5. Mmmmhmmm. I used this the same way I usually use my hair masks: I shampooed/conditioned as normal, then applied it to my hair and left it on for a couple of hours. After rinsing it out, I wrapped my hair in a towel until just damp. Then I sprayed my Redken heat protector on before blowdrying.
|Don't mind my wrinkly fingers...I take long showers!|
- It really left my hair feeling great. Soft and silky.
- It smells like a rose garden and/or funeral home. I hate floral scents. Some of you may consider that a pro. I do not!
- When drying & flat ironing my hair, it gave off a very chemical/burning smell. Borderline scary.
- My hair looks a little flat. No shine like I'm used to with other hair masks.
- It tastes terrible (haha...don't ask!).
- There was not a lot of product in the trial. I wish there was just a little bit more. It didn't cover from root to tip, so I mostly used it from the middle of the hair shaft to the tips. My scalp and roots went product-less.
The Verdict/An Open Letter to NUME:
When the cons outweigh the pros, it's safe to say the product isn't for me. However...if anyone out there at NUME is listening...can you be a bit more generous with your samples? How is anyone supposed to give your products a fair try when the trial size doesn't cover a full head of hair?! And your pricing is absurd. I mean...when you are having 70% off sales left and right, giving free products to gurus all the time, and everyone and their mama has a coupon code for $150 or more off... Wouldn't it make more sense to just lower your prices a little bit and keep them consistent? I know I, for one, would be more apt to make a purchase if I knew everyone was getting the same price across the board and I didn't have to wait to be "lucky enough" to receive free products or 70% off. Just sayin.