Search This Blog

Thursday, March 31, 2011

How to Paint Your Nails Like a Pro

So many times I see women beautifully dressed with their hair and makeup just right and no nail polish or completely unkempt nails.  20 minutes of attention once a week is all it takes to keep your hands beautifully manicured and your look complete!  Having your hands and nails in shape not only looks beautiful but it boosts your confidence too!  I have put together some steps to "Polish Like a Pro" and save a small fortune by doing it all yourself!

Step 1- Preparing your nails

Start by removing any old polish with a cotton ball and non-acetone remover.  Wash your hands afterward so there is no remover remaining on your nails.  Use a cuticle remover, I personally love the Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover. Either clip away or push back your cuticles (whatever your preference).  Next file your nails with an emery board in one direction, do not go back and forth like a saw!  This season the "squoval" shape is in (square/oval).  Use a buffing block to buff away any rough bits along the edges and then buff out any ridges on your nails.  Now you are ready to paint!

Step 2- Paint

It is very important to use a good base coat especially if you tend to wear dark colours.  A base coat will prevent the polish from staining your nails.  Apply a thin base coat and allow it to completely dry.  Next take the bottle of polish you have chosen and roll it between your hands.  Rolling it will warm the product and mix it.  Do not shake the bottle as it may cause air bubbles to form and it will affect your finish.  Open the bottle and gently swipe one side of the brush along the inside lip of the bottle.  Start by placing the brush about 1mm away from the cuticle and brushing straight down the middle of the nail in one stroke.  DO NOT use small strokes or start a brush stroke at the tip or middle of the nail.  TIP: Let the brush do the work.  The next stroke will be slightly off centre.  Apply a little pressure so the brush fans out as you brush from cuticle to tip and this will make the brush reach to the edges of your nail perfectly!  Do the other side the same way.  That's it! Only 3 strokes. Don't worry if it's thin and the coverage is inconsistent, the second coat will fix everything.  Finish all ten nails this way then go ahead and do the second coat right away the exact same way you did the first coat.  Allow your nails to dry fully.  It will take about a half hour, so watch TV or read a magazine.....just do not touch your nails!  Once your nails are completely dry you will want to apply a top coat.  TIP: After a half an hour tap 2 nails together (polish to polish), if they feel tacky then wait a little longer, this will not affect the finish.  The top coat will seal everything, fill in any unevenness and make your colour last longer.

Step 3- Clean up/Finish up

Once your top coat is completely dry use a cotton swab dipped in polish remover (squeeze out the excess) to clean up any mistakes along the edges.  Apply your favourite hand cream to soften your hands and complete your beautifully manicured look!

Monday, March 28, 2011

LUSH Haul!!!!!

Today I went to LUSH with my Luscious Ladies! Actually we are the "Hood Mamas" (Mothers from the neighbourhood!), that's what we like to call ourselves- I know we're nuts! Anywho, I'm so excited to have stocked up on LUSH goodies!

I'm writing this following a soak in the tub with the "Blue Skies and Fluffy White Clouds" Bubble Bar.  It is an earthy scent with frankincense and patchouli.  I admit that it doesn't smell the best concentrated in the bar, but the lingering scent after the bath is lovely! I use about a quarter of the bar for my standard size tub.

I also got the "Creamy Candy" Bubble Bar.  This one smells so yummy and creates so many bubbles!!! It's a less relaxing scent, but it leaves your skin so soft and sweet smelling!
I got one "Happy Blooming" Bath melt, described as a cheery cherry bath melt.  This smells amazing (if you love sweet cherries)!  It melts in the warm bath and leaves you soaking in all sorts of essential oils.  I find this one quite moisturizing.  I usually try to half or quarter everything from LUSH to make it last but I find with the bath melts that the full pie shaped segment is perfect.  I tried less and it just didn't leave my skin as soft.  I felt as if I wasted that amount as I didn't get the result I wanted, so keep that in mind!

The above are products I have tried before and obviously repurchased! The next group I have not tried.  I am anxious to get soaking!  I purchased 2 Think Pink Bath Bombs, one for me and one for a friend.   They were just too cute to pass up!  I also bought a massage bar and a "Dorothy" rainbow Bubble Bar.  The Bubble Bar is for my daughter, I just knew she'd love the rainbow and fun colours!  The massage bar is for my husband (to use on me)!  I got a vanilla scented one.  You just hold in in your hands and the warmth of your hand melts the bar slightly leaving the oils on your fingers-ready to give a massage!

Oh! I almost forgot! I also picked up the Mask of Magnaminty Face Mask.  I heard great things about this mask and I am anxious to try it.  This mask claims to pull dirt from your pores, exfoliate and polish the skin.  I will let you know what I think of it once I use it a few times!
Thanks for checking in.....have a LUSHious day!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

An oil and one to get rid of oil!

This is a quick review of 2 hair products that I have been using lately.  As the title suggests one is an oil and the other is a dry shampoo meant to cure the hair of that oily look.  I have thick colour treated hair with a bit of natural wave (or maybe I should say natural kinks! Wave sounds pretty and my kinks are not!haha).  I must blow dry my hair and often use a straightener to tame the frizzies.  I am on a kick lately to pay more attention to my hair.  I have vowed to get trims more often and make an effort to find products that will help repair/prevent split ends.  My hair rests halfway down my shoulder blades and that's as far as I can grow it.  I would love it longer, but my ends get so bad that I have to cut it and I can't get past this length.  I am hoping the extra attention I'm giving to my hair will help me reach my goal....I'll keep you posted.
On to the review.....

Moroccan Oil

I received this from a dear friend for my birthday.  I have been using it for 2 months and I am really liking this! It is an amber oil that restores moisture and smooths out my frizzies.  I use a nickle sized amount and apply it to my "pontytail" part of my damp hair.  I say ponytail because I grab my hair as if to put in a ponytail and apply the oil from there down to the ends.  Once I rub it in I then run my fingers through the rest of my hair.  I don't want to use this product too close to my scalp as I have oily roots.  I then blow dry and style! I sometimes use my flat iron but I really don't have to as my hair is alot less frizzy when I use this.  It also makes my hair incredibly soft and less likely to tangle throughout the day!

The Moroccan Oil can be purchased at salons and it's not cheap ($32/100ml).  I will continue using this as it makes my hair feel incredible, but due to the price I don't think I would repurchase.  I will continue to look for a cheaper alternative.  I also wish that this was a lasting treatment to help restore/repair my hair, it's not, it does the trick the day you use it and once you wash it out that's it.

Overall rating 3.5/5

                                                                       TRESemme Fresh Start Dry Shampoo

I was so excited when I saw this product a few months back at my local drugstore! I don't like to wash my hair everyday, and if I don't it looks a little oily and doesn't feel nice on day 2.  This product claims to zap oil and odor in between washes and give hair a clean look and feel with volume.  I paid about $3 as it happened to be on sale.  It killed me to wait a day to try this as I had just washed my hair before I made the purchase.  The next day I read the instructions very carefully and shook the can vigorously and sprayed along my hairline and on the roots at my part from about 6" away.   I left it for 2 minutes then brushed it out.  I didn't get any white cast at all and instantly my hair looked so much fresher! I didn't particularily like the smell but it didn't bother me too much.  The texture of my hair felt a little funny- tacky in a dry way?!  I was happy overall. The next time I tried it I thought a little more product might get an even better result, right? WRONG! I got the dreaded white cast and it took 5 minutes of brushing to get rid of it.  I have since gone back to my original method and it's perfect!  The only reason this didn't get a 5/5 rating from yours truly is because of the funky smell.
Rating: 4/5

Monday, March 21, 2011

February Favourites

As I was rounding up products to include in the post I realized that most of these are not just what I've been loving for the past month or so, but products that I have been using daily and for quite a while now!  Let's get to it!

Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System

So this is the one product that I haven't been using for too long.  I absolutely love it!!!! I have been using it daily for about 2 weeks and have had such great results.  This is a 2-speed rotating cleansing brush along the same lines as a Clarisonic but for a fraction of the cost.  I paid $30 at Walmart (Canada) and it came with a sample size cleanser.  I cannot believe how deeply this cleans, it makes me realize how much makeup I was leaving on my skin just using my hands to lather and rinsing.  My skin feels so revitalized immediately after using this and my skin is so soft.  My acne has been clearing like nobody's business as well as my dry patches.  My moisturizer sinks in so nicely after the deep clean.  I can't wait to wash my face!!!!

Lise Watier 24HRS Glam Mascara

I have been using this mascara daily for the last few months.  This formula is so nice, it combined with the wand lengthens my lashes like crazy.  It doesn't add much volume.  The length and definition is great for day wear.  I always end up with raccoon eyes so I wanted to try something that claims to stay put.  This mascara does just that! After an 8-10hr day no raccoon eyes or any flaking!

Garnier Anti-Dark Circle Eye Roller

I've been using this eye roller for about the last 3 months every morning and sometimes reapplying throughout the day.  It's a neat little product as it has a cold roller ball that glides on a tinted formula.  It provides a little coverage and cools the under eye area.  I use this before applying my concealer and I find it preps the skin nicely.  When I am in a rush or not feeling in the mood to wear all of my makeup I will use a tinted moisturizer and the Anti-Dark Circle Eye Roller and I'm good to go! I have the Garnier Anti-Puff Roller as well but don't like it nearly as much.

MAC Cream Colour Base in "Hush"

I LOVE this!!!! I use it as a highlighter on the tops of my cheekbones, down the centre of my nose and sometimes as a brow highlight.  It gives me a beautiful glow and dewy look.  I have received so many compliments when I wear this! I have used it on friends and they always want to rush out and purchase it! I have tried many drugstore highlighters in the past but they just don't do the trick.  I find the drugstore highlighters are not finely milled enough and the particles just look like glitter when applied-not pretty.  The Hush cream catches the light and reflects a beautiful healthy glow. Love it, Love it, Love it!

MAC Paint Pot in "Painterly"

This is my HG eyeshadow base.  This is a matte base that I apply all over my lids.  It is very close to my skin tone (NW30).  It evens out my lids and covers any veins/discolouration and provides an amazing base for my shadows.  Although this is not a primer it prevents creasing and makes my shadows last all day!  I had some eye shadows that I wasn't too thrilled with payoff wise until I started using this base, now the pigment shows up much richer than without.  I've been using Painterly for a number of months and will never go without!!!!