Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Nail Flavor of the Week: Blue Moon

I immediately knew what I would title this blog post after finishing this manicure, which features a bright pink polish with a navy-colored stamp of the night sky:

with camera flash

with tru-lux lighting

Base color: Essie - Bump up the Pumps; stamping color: Sally Hansen Instadry - Navy Fleet; stamping plate: Pueen Nature Lover Collection
As you can see, the camera flash makes the blue polish appear lighter than it is; however, I thought that shot provided a better look of the details in the stamping pattern. I love the color combo and think the stamping came out well, in spite of small parts of the moon not being filled on some nails. I like the design's appearance of an abstract sketch; I got a couple of compliments on my nails while at work today! This design is a reflection of my itch for spring to arrive. While it's around the corner, it seems so far away! I look forward to mild temperatures and clear skies...perfect for nights spent star gazing!

Monday, February 22, 2016

{Old} Empties, part III: bath & body

Hello! I hope everyone had a good weekend! Mine went by pretty quickly because I was busy on Saturday. When are legislators going to create a law mandating each week includes a three-day weekend? Studies have proven we need that much time just to feel rested...probably a huge reason why so many people struggle on Mondays! Anyway...

The next part of my {old} empties round up features a handful of skin care products:

The Body Shop's Mango Body Sorbet
I mentioned in a previous post that I am a fan of The Body Shop's body butters. When these body sorbets hit the stores a couple of years ago, I thought they would be a lightweight alternative for the warmer months. While the mango scent was pleasant, I wasn't too pleased with the performance of this product. It iwa nowhere near as moisturizing as the body butters. It also had a strange consistency...it feels kind of gritty when rubbing it into the skin. I would not re-purchase.

Burt's Bees Coconut Foot Creme
I use Burt's Bees cuticle creme on a nightly basis, so I figured this would be a good product for those nights my feet need a little extra TLC. Burt's Bees did not let me down! Not only did it have an appealing peppermint/coconut scent, the creme sank into my skin, leaving my feet (or other areas) feeling supple and moisturized. Use this after a DIY pedi using an Amope, and you're good to go! I only use this on an as-needed basis, so one tube lasts quite a while (I'd say at least a couple of seasons). 

Palmer's Swivel Stick Cocoa Butter 
Occasionally I use cocoa butter to help eliminate dark spots from scars (mainly from my dog's sharp claws) or blemishes. I thought I would try this as opposed to the typical container you dip your fingers in. In addition, this has the purest content of cocoa butter in its ingredients when compared to other products. It had the natural scent of cocoa butter (not artificial or manufactured) and it did its job. The swivel stick made it easy to apply when spot treatments were needed. I would repurchase...if I could find it again! I think I got this from Dollar General a couple of years ago, but haven't seen it there or in drugstores since.

Jergens' BB Body Perfecting Skin Cream
This is a sample-sized product. I believe I got it via Target's samples page. Of course the concept is similar to that of a BB face cream; it is a 5-in-1 moisturizer that hydrates, illuminates, evens, firms and corrects. I received the shade designed for lighter skin tones, so I used it in inconspicuous places because it wasn't quite a match for my skin. I got enough uses out of the sample to determine that I liked the product, but not enough to determine if it would actually meet or surpass its claims. I would consider repurchasing, but it seems a bit gimmicky to me, so it is not a necessity.

Lavanila - The Healthy Deodorant
I decided to try this product after having concerns with using clinical strength deodorant containing aluminum and reading/hearing reviews about this deodorant on various blogs and YouTube channels. I like the variety of scents and the option to buy the .9 oz travel size or the larger 1.7-2.0 tubes. Skeptical that an all-natural, aluminum-free deodorant would work for me, I have used this for quite some time now. Overall, I enjoy the product. Under NORMAL circumstances, it gets the job done. However, it does not always hold up well for me during heat waves or when I experience stress sweat. Remember, this is not an antiperspirant, so it only helps prevent the smell, not the feeling of sweat. I will likely continue to using it, but I have resorted to having an antiperspirant for back up in extreme cases.

Cheers to a pleasant, productive week!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Nail Flavor of the Week: Rose Petals

Hey there! How was your Valentine's Day/Presidents' Day weekend? Hopefully you had an extra day to relax and to spend time with your special someone! I got to rest up, treat myself to various things I wanted to do and spend quality time with the hubby!

This week's manicure features a nail color I just picked up from TJ Maxx. I love buying polishes by brands like OPI and Essie there because the savings are fabulous! It does not matter to me that they are "past season," as I typically do not keep up with new polish releases nor aim to buy polish as soon as they hit the shelves. I will, however, be making an exception for OPI's Hello Kitty collection that recently came out! Here is a look at my mani:

Base color - Grand Canyon Sunset by OPI; nail stamp color - Black Creme by Wet n' Wild; stamp design from Pueen's Nature Lover Collection stamping plate 01
In the bottle, this OPI polish reminds me of the reddish brown color of the Grand Canyon's rocks, plus a hint of a pearl shimmer. When I applied it to my nails, however, I definitely saw more of the rosy pink undertones this polish has. Either way, it is a beautiful, slightly muted, understated shade; it would be suitable for office wear and all seasons! The polish was opaque after one coat, but I applied two. It does not maintain a shine after it dries (typical for quick drying polishes like this one), so a top coat is a must if you prefer a glossy finish.

This stamp design from Pueen's Nature Lover Collection is a beautiful abstract design of overlapping flower petals and was a breeze to use. I had much more success with this one compared to the last design I used. It took much less effort to transfer the design to each nail. The only difficulty I had was getting the stamper (also be Pueen) completely clean, which I was particular about because I did not want the polish residue to transfer to my nail. I am not sure if I should blame the leftover polish on the stamper or the polish...time will tell. I will eventually post a review on stamping tools once I get more experience in this area of DIY nail art!

Hope your week is filled with love, happiness and fulfillment!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Nail Flavor of the Week: Sky Blue Jelly

Happy Hump Day! Hope your week has been great!

My weekly nail post is late! I plan to post each one on Sunday or Monday since I usually paint my nails on Sunday night. But I have been so busy in the past week, I didn't even get a chance to paint my nails until last night!

So last year I began dabbling in crelly and jelly polishes after being intrigued by a few nail polish blogs I have discovered. This week I am wearing a jelly-based polish I purchased from Colores de Carol.

Colores de Carol BPFF (Best Polish Friend Forever)
On her blog, Carolina describes this polish as "A shimmery jelly sky blue base with small white hex glitter, large purple squares, small blue squares, teal and dark blue hex glitter and pink round glitter." Out of the three polishes I ordered from her last year, this one is my favorite. I love the unique shade of blue...it could almost pass for a neutral. In addition, the polish's consistency is just right, given the jelly base. I am wearing two thin coats in this picture, which makes for an opaque appearance; however, a third coat would make the polish a bit more vibrant and just as beautiful. Her polishes wear on me relatively well (my DIY manicures last an average of five days) and I experience minimal tip wear. I look forward to trying more crelly and jelly polishes, including some from this nail pro!

Have you tried crelly or jelly based polishes? If so, which brands would you recommend? Any particular colors?

Enjoy the rest of your week...bundle up if you are in a region that will get hit with cold weather by the weekend!