Sunday, April 30, 2017
Love galaxy nails! I painted on a black scattered holo for the base color, sponged on the 3 galaxy colors, added stars with a dotting tool in white and swept Fairy Dust over everything before applying top coat. I did a DIY heart stencil for the accent nail with a heart shaped hole punch and a piece of washi tape.
Here are all the colors I used:
Hi readers! I tend to do a lot of nail of the day posts, but today I thought I would share the nail care routine behind the nails. Since I change my polish frequently I have to put a lot of effort into caring for my nails and cuticles so they don't become dry, brittle or peely.
8-10) Nail clippers, orangewood stick, and glass nail file. Also pretty self explanatory. Use clippers and file sparingly to help shape nails and keep them smooth and snag/chip free. The orangewood stick is great for pushing back overgrown cuticles and also cleaning up excess polish around the edges of the nails. Many people also use a tiny makeup brush dipped in removwr for cleanup, but I find that too fussy. Plus the more you practice painting, the better you'll get at coloring inside the lines and the less cleanup you'll need. Clippers and orangewood sticks can be found at any drug store or beauty supply. I recommend a glass nail file because it keeps nails smoother and minimizes damage from filing. I ordered this OPI brand file from Skyline Beauty Supply.
1) This cool mat from Uberchic has multiple applications. Not only is it protective but it has many fun uses for nail art. This is the current version of the Uber Mat available with updated features.
2) Cotton balls: Self explanatory: you soak them with acetone to remove any old polish or dirt from your nails. I store mine in a repurposed candle tin.
3) Polish remover: also pretty obvious. I like this .96¢ Equate brand from Walmart. It works just as well as pricier brands for me.
4) Sugar Scrub: after cleaning nails with remover I like to wash my hands with a sugar scrub to get rid of that nasty acetone residue/odor, moisturize the skin, and scrub off any rogue glitter particles.
5) These nail polish bottle holders are invaluable! I can't tell you how many bottles I had previously knocked over and what a nightmare it was. These work quite well to keep bottles steady and fit most bottle shapes. I bought mine for 2 for $1 from Wish.com
6) Base Coat: I actually meant for this to be #7 but got a little ahead of myself. After, oiling the nails which I will discuss below, it is essential to my nail care routine to apply a strengthening base coat yo help keep nails strong and healthy provide a good base for the rest of your polish.
7) After washing my hands I do what is probably the most important step for caring for my nails and cuticles which is to apply oil. This may seem a little odd, but this is a proven method to re-hydrate dry, peeling nails and the oil absorbs into the nail and prevents water from getting in between the layers of nail and weakening the nail. It also leaves cuticles soft and moisturized. You can use almost any type of skin safe oil, including coconut or olive oil in a pinch. I like to used this Beauty Secrets brand from Sally Beauty with a convenient brush applicator. Just brush or dad oil onto each nail are, massage it into the nail beds, wipe of the excess oil with a paper towel and then apply your base coat as normal to seal in the hydration.
11) Cuticle nippers: another important tool for getting rid of those annoying hangnails (little bits of excess skin that stick out from the cuticle and snag on everything.) I also use it to trim peeling sections on my nails so they don get worse. Make sure you use these carefully; it's easy to trim to close and cut yourself. These are Sally Hansen brand, found at big box/drug stores.
12) Hand Cream: after I've completely finished painting my nails and they are dry, I wash and dry my hands again and then apply a thick and luxurious hand cream that smells good and hydrates the skin. I like the formula of the nourishing shea butter hand creams from Bath & Body Works.
13) We musn't forget another huge essential: quick drying top coat! You want to use a quick dry formula so you don't end up ruining all your nail handywork. After applying polish but before the hand cream, apply your top coat. I like Seche Vive available at Sally Beauty. It's dry within a couple of minutes and hardens to a strong, shiny gloss.
Well, there you have it! My many nail care products. Seems like a lot of work? It kind of is, but to me it's relaxing and so worth the end results. You have to really enjoy nail care and have a good bit of patience, but if you wish to have well groomed nails, this id definitely the route to go. If I'm doing a couple coats of a single polish, my routine usually takes melting about an hour from start to finish. If I'm doing any type of nail art, it can take upwards of 2 hours.
Do you have a regular nail care routine or any favorite nail products? Are you interested in starting or adding to your nail care routine? Let me know in the comments below!
Friday, April 28, 2017
Jamianne's Wax Nature's Beauty: I'm not sure of the scent notes of this one but to me it's a nice woodsy, musky, cologe-y type scent. It had moderate throw for about 8 hours. Overall grade: A-. Would repurchase.
Supertarts Harry- "magically delicious and french baguette." I love the notes in this one on cold; ooey gooey marshmallows and sugary cereal and the warm yeastiness of freshly baked bread. It's a tart that I received in a destash so I'm not sure of it's age and it was removed from it's clamshell. It had moderate to light throw for about 6 hours. Overall grade: B. Would like to purchase new and see how the throw is.
Sassy Girl Aroma Blue Sugar Pinecones VBN: this is a well done blend. You can really smell all the notes: the masculine cologne type blue sugar, fresh pine needles and wood, and creamy vanilla. Strong throw for 10-12 hours. Overall grade: A. Would repurchase.
Destination Wax Mirror Of The Witch: cotton candy, orange and strawberry. This actually doesn't smell super sweet or fruity to me like other similar blends I've tried. To me it's kind of a light citrus with a touch of spice. Moderate throw for about 8 hours. Overall grade: B. Probably wouldn't repurchase.
Vintage Chic Scents Five Families- "Sugar Cookies Whipped Cream Birthday Cake Vanilla Wafers Cannolis." A nice vanilla bakery scent but an older tart with light throw for a few hours. Would like to smell it fresh. Overall grade: C. Might repurchase.
Hayden Rowe Candle Co Champagne & Roses: this is a nice fresh rose scent with a touch of effervescent champagne; not to tart or boozy. Very pleasant with moderate throw for about 8 hours. Overall grade: A-. Would repurchase.
Starry Skies Delightful- "strawberry satsuma cotton candy fizzy soda." This truly is a delightful and scrumptious smelling blend, similar to a "Backwoods Barbie" type blend from other brands, with the addition of fizzy soda. To me it smells like an orange creamsicle with sweet strawberry. Strong throw for about 10 hours. Overall grade: A+. Would repurchase.
Thursday, April 27, 2017
Hey all! I was super excited last week to see I had won an Instagram giveaway from a perfume subscription box called Perfume Surprise!
The prize was a gift set of Bvlgari Omnia Parabia full sized EDT, lotion and soap in a nice travel pouch. I had never tried any Bvlgari fragrances before and was overjoyed for the opportunity! The products look so luxe.
For anyone curious about the fragrance notes in Omnia Parabia, I looked them up on Fragrantica: "Bvlgari presents a new addition to the Omnia collection in October 2015, the fragrance called Omnia Paraiba, named after Brazilian semi-precious stone Paraiba Tourmaline, known for its blue – green color. The fragrance is an exotic floral - fruity and woody.
Perfumer Alberto Morillas focused on passion flower scent, inspired by Brazilian jungle, beaches and ocean. Bigarade (bitter) orange and Maracuja passion fruit open the composition and lead to the floral heart of passion flower and Brazilian gardenia. The base notes include vetiver and cocoa."
I received the items today and have been wearing the perfume and lotion for several hours. My verdict is that I like the scent overall but am not in love. It is a bit too green/herbal for me with a slight lean towards a perfumey fresh aquatic note that I don't usually care for. I didn't pick up much of the tropical fruits and florals, although it is a bit softer and muskier on the drydown, while I like. It was super strong and almost overwhelming for the first hour or so. Strong sillage that radiates outward so I wouldn't recommend wearing it around those who are known to be sensitive to fragrance. I think this fragrance will linger for several hours. If you are interested in a long lasting aquatic/green scent, I would definitely recommend it.
After a while I did some fragrance blending to make it more my type of scent. I sprayed some Yves Rocher Noix De Coco on over it and I liked the bit of tropical sweetness it added. I will probably wear Omnia layered with other fragrances from now on.
I am super grateful to Perfume Surprise for sending me this luxurious gift!
Perfume Surprise is a monthly subscription box. "Perfume Surprise is the only monthly perfume subscription service with luxury designer perfume brands and jewelry for you to enjoy and keep for only $24.99/month. Each month you will receive five spray bottles of 2.5 ml with designer perfumes and a 3-piece jewelry set. Visit www.perfumesurprise.com for more information.
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Hi all! If you have ever been interested in trying Zoya nail polish now is the time!
They are currently having their annual Earth Day promotion where you can use code EARTHLUV at checkout to get 50% off 6 polishes or more and free shipping!
I chose some lovely spring colors and they shipped the next day! They arrived today and look beautiful. I also received a free 2 oz polish remover with my order.
Hayden Rowe is another relatively new wax vendor that I heard about through a Facebook wax discussion group. Their classic aesthetic had me intrigued; I was interested in the photos of other people's hauls wrapped in pristine black and white striped tissue. The labels are simple and classic too. I had been wanting to order for a few months and I finally had the funds to place a small order.
I ordered in the last week of March and sadly a few days after that the owner of the company had a tragic loss of a family member. She did a very good job of keeping in contact with her customers through her Facebook group and via messages. I believe at the time her website stated 5-15 business days but it was extended to 20 business days due to dealing with that issue which is quite understandable. I believe mine may have exceeded that time by a few days but it didn't conern me.
I received my order on Friday the 21st but wasn't even able to pick it up from the post office until the 25th. I was so excited to open it and wasn't disappointed!
I am also extremely impressed with the amount of free samples I received; 6 different scents in adorable star and duckie shapes!
Samples are a great way to sniff scents that you wouldn't have necessarily ordered and find new favorites. The Lemon Ice and Dreamsicle smell especially yummy to me. I can't wait to share these melts with you! In fact, I will be melting the champagne & roses scent this week so look for that in my next round of wax reviews.
Have you ever heard of or tried Hayden Rowe wax? When choosing a new vendor to order from, what sorts of attributes do you look for?
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
A super easy 1 coat teal creme; London Tomboy from Pacifica. I'm impressed by the Pacifica polishes I have. They seem to have great formula and the bottles are so pretty! Accent nails are Zoya Monet. It's pretty thick but looks so pretty and mermaid-y when it dries.
Monday, April 24, 2017
Throughout all my attempts at healthy eating I've realized one main thing: I prefer convenience. Don't get me wrong, I do love to cook yummy dishes from scratch when the creative bug strikes, but I find that seems to be less and less these days. At the beginning of the year when I tried to search out new healthy recipes, compile a shopping list and cook multiple dishes every day, I became overwhelmed, burnt out and eventually gave up. As I'd currently prefer my meals to be simple to prepare and not time consuming, I'm now trying a new strategy of replacing my unhealthy snack and prepackaged food chain with some simple and healthier options.
Since I started keeping track of my meals with the My Fitness Pal app, I noticed that I was consuming more calories than necessary. This week I just walked through the grocery store and purposely chose whatever sounded good that was super easy to prepare andrelatively low in calories and sugar per serving.
I'm fairly pleased with these items and want to share them with you.
Breakfast: this has been my usual breakfast for quite a while and since it is hearty and filling and satisfying taste wise while being reasonably low in calories I just kept it. Blueberry Eggo Waffles are my favorite and they also come in a whole grain version. Bacon is delicious and surprisingly low in calories for just 2 pieces. If you eat it in moderation you don't have to be too concerned about the sodium and fat content. These hash browns are Alexia brand and are delicious! They're super easy to whip up; just line a baking sheet with foil and spray with an olive oil cooking spray and cook in a preheated 400° oven for 30 minutes.
Some other breakfast options I love include cereal. Instead of getting the super sweet ones I like Honey Nut Cheerios and Honey Bunches of Oats. They still taste good but have less sugar than other options, and other important nutrients like fiber and iron. For a super speedy protien packed breakfast on the go I will sometime drink a Bolthouse Farms Mocha Frappuchino. The have much less sugar than the average frap and much more protein, plus they taste great! Bolthouse makes many other beverages including fruit juices and chai tea.
Lunch: for lunch I like to graze on a number of snack items to make up a meal. One of my most favorite finds this week was Dannon Light & Fit Greek Yogurt in Vanilla and Toasted Coconut & Vanilla. I had previously thought I'd never like Greek yogurt because I had tried the plain stuff and didn't care for the flavor at all. I decided to give this brand a shot and they taste great to me. They have only 80 cal and 7g sugar while having 12g protein. I like to eat them with berries.
I would also have a low fat string cheese and a slice of cracked wheat sourdough bread. When it comes to drinks, it's very easy to go over your daily sugar allotment, so many seemingly innocent beverages have a ton of sugar! These unsweetened teas from Pure Leaf have been a godsend. My favorite is the black with lemon which is 0 cal and has less than 1g sugar from the natural lemon flavor.
Dinner: for dinner this week I thought I'd go super simple and get some salads from Bistro Bowl and Taylor Farms. I thought I might get tired of eating salads every day but so far I did not. The wide variety of flavor options makes it less boring tastewise and I loved just being able to open the container and eat it. I'd also have tea or water to drink. Next week I will definitely be getting some more of these salads, and well as a few other dinner items to mix it up. They weer also fairly economical at $2.99 per bowl.
Snacks: I would sometimes get hungry a couple hours after having dinner and need something before bed. Instead of having chips or sweets in the house,I would usually eat another serving of cereal, string cheese, bread or berries and still come in within my daily calorie allowance. This daily meal plan was satisfying for the most part and sugar cravings were minimal.
That brings me to another great feature of the My Fitness Pal app. It lets you know how many calories you need to consume to lose weight based on your own personal stats, and it shows you each of your nutritional goals and where you are in achieving them for the day.
What are your favorite fast and easy health consious foods? Any tools that have helped you eat healthier/lose weight? Please share in the comments below!
Sunday, April 23, 2017
Saturday, April 22, 2017
Hey all! Not too many big exciting things happening in my universe lately; I've just been enjoying the simple pleasures so I figured I'd just do a little slice of life post.
First thing is I'm currently enjoying cat sitting for the in-laws. One of their doggies is a grumpy new mama and doesn't tolerate Kitty in the same room as her new babies, and Kitty doesn't tolerate not being the center of attention so I "selflessly" offered to take her for a few days. The little house panther and I are having a fabulous time; she is just so affectionate and things are going swimmingly. One thing I've learned is that it's really hard to get a nice photo of a black cat. It's usually either a blurry black blob with eyes, or she always ends up with RBF. I swear she is super sweet ITL and doesn't want to steal your soul!
Here are some gratuitous kitty glamour shots:
I figured while I have the feline it would be the perfect time to wear this fun cat sheet mask my bloggy friend Julie over at The Redolent Mermaid sent me and take the ultimate cat selfie! Julie is the queen of finding both luxurious and hilarious novelty sheet masks and this one is right up my alley.
I mean...come on! Aren't we beautiful?!
But I digress. Aside from furry friends and face masks, I always end up having loads of fun with the hubby, even just randomly running errands. A few days ago we stopped by Walmart for a few sundries and my hubby grabbed some superglue from the gloves box to tighten up a piece on his dashcam holder. Little did he know the glue was leaking everywhere until it was much too late...
I had to stop laughing long enough to go back in the store to buy some nail polish remover to help loosen the glue. It took us about half an hour to get him unstuck! Fortunately now permanent harm done.
Then we decided to go to Starbucks for a conciliatory Unicorn Frappuchino. Well, I had planned to go anyway because I'm a sucker for hype. I had seen it meet with a lot of mixed reviews; to me it wasn't bad but it wasn't spectacular either. The main fruity, sweet flavor was nice enough but I didn't care for the sour berry syrup at the end. Overall it was a fun drink to have once but I'm not bummed it's limited edition. I went, I drank, I got the Instagram pic.
Have you tried any fun new things recently?
Friday, April 21, 2017
Kitty's Konfections Big Top- "frosted animal crackers and marshmallows." A nice frosted vanilla cookie type scent. Moderate to light throw for about 6-7 hours. Overall grade: B. Can't repurchase.
Ava's County Cupboard Lollipop: a generic sweet fruity candy scent. Pleasant and not sickly sweet. Moderate throw for about 7-8 hours. Overall grade: B+. Probably wouldn't repurchase.
The Scented Squirrel The Upside Down- "redwood forest, moss, patchouli, sandal tree, white musk, sage and sea salt." A captivating scent description. On cold it did smell moderately fresh and herbal with touches of musk and woods. Unfortunately the throw was pretty light when melting. Overall grade: C. Probably wouldn't repurchase.
Scentsationals White Sandalwood: a musky, perfumey sandalwood type scent with a touch of exotic spices. Fairly strong to moderate throw for about 8 hours. Overall grade: A-. Might repurchase.
The Scented Squirrel Harvest Apple Cake- "brown sugar and apple crumb cake." This is a delicious smelling and realistic sweet apple bakery scent. Fairly strong throw for about 9 hours. Overall grade: A. Would repurchase.
Sniff My Tarts Adaly's Marshmallow Peeps Mandarin Coconut Cake Coconut Cream Pie. A yummy vanilla marshmallow and sweet coconut combo. Moderate throw for about 6-7 hours. Overall grade: B+. Might repurchase.
Golden Egg Wax Sweet Lavender & Eucalypts. This was a pretty old piece of wax. I received it in a destash and it's probably at least 2 years old. I'd never heard of this brand but the notes sounded nice together. Unfortunately it had zero throw, probably due to age. I would have loved to smell it fresh. Overall grade: D. Would not repurchase.
Glitterati Plum Tart Vanilla Buttercream Crunch: this is a really yummy and unique blend. It does smell of rich, dusky baked plums sprinkles in brown sugar and folded in a warm pastry. Fairly strong throw for about 8 hours. Overall grade: A. Would repurchase.
Southbound Soap Co Strawberry White Cake. I usually love strawberry cake blends but unfortunately this one had only a vague strawberry aroma and light throw for a few hours. I've had good throw from most other Southbound scents so I think it was an older tart. Overall grade: C. Might repurchase.