Friday, November 21, 2014

November ipsy bag: Girl Meets Glitter

A+ for ipsy!
 Hi, all!
I'm just going to come right out and say it. This month's ipsy bag was amazing! There's not a dud in the group! Not one!

In no particular order (because I loved it all!), here's what I got:

Left to right: Temptu S/B Highlighter, Be a Bombshell Eye Base,
 J.Cat Beauty Wonder Lip Paint, Elizabeth Mott You're So Fine eyeliner

 1. J. Cat Beauty Wonder Lip Paint in WLP 111 Red Potion - This is a full size of J.Cat Beauty's answer to OCC Lip Tars. You need only the tiniest bit on a lip brush to give you a nearly matte berry lip that will last you most of the day. I did need to reapply in the evening after having applied it at 8 a.m. to begin with. One coat will give you a lovely matte(ish) winter berry shade, while two coats will give you deep, dark drama with a satin finish. The website features 18 different shades. (Value $4.99)

Perfect winter lips in a tube.

2. TEMPTU S/B Highlighter in Pink Pearl - This is a teeny-tiny-itsy-bitsy sample size, and you know what? I've used it a few times and you can't even tell there's anything taken out of the bottle. You really only need the smallest bit to give your cheekbones a gorgeous opalescent pearly highlight. It's very liquid, so you really have to be careful dispensing it. On me, it doesn't last all day, but while it's there it's amazing. (Full size value $27.50, Sample size value $2.75)

Shiny in a bottle

3. Marc Anthony Oil of Morocco Argan Oil Volume Shine Hairspray - Who doesn't love a good hairspray? Well, probably some people, but not me. It's a good hairspray with good things in it and missing some bad stuff. Can't ask more than that. (Full size value $8.29, Sample size value $1.38)

Perfect size for travelling!

4. Be A Bombshell Cosmetics Eye Base in Submissive - I used this as a base under powder eye shadows and it made the colors pop, it didn't crease, and it lasted all day. Perfect! (Value $14)

A pretty, warm bronze. Awesome for Autumn!

5. Elizabeth Mott you're so FINE Eyeliner in Glitterati - This is a gorgeous black liner with fine silver glitters. It doesn't give a super-dramatic glitter effect, so it doesn't look like you tried to wear a smashed disco ball on your face. It's pretty.

Aww, thanks, eyeliner! You're not so bad yourself.
 The brush is a classic liquid liner brush with a very fine tip. I'm awful at liquid liner, but I found this easy to use. (Value $17.99) camera didn't want to focus on the brush, but you get the idea.

 6. The Bag - I really think the bags should get their own place on the list. This one is so stinkin' cute! It's a durable silver glitter (but still smooth) vinyl with hot pink zipper and *black liner. It's in conjunction with Forever 21. It's adorbz and I will love it forever and ever and call it Smooshie. Or not. Whatever. I really do love this bag.


Inner liner and label of Smooshie

The grand total of my bag was $41.11 (plus Smooshie). That included three full-sized products. I'm thrilled and will get a ton of use out of everything. Ipsy is a subscription service for $10/month that sends you 4-5 products. Some are samples and some are full-sized. And it all comes in a reusable makeup bag. If you're interested, head on over to ipsy to find out more. Click here if you'd like to give me some points for signing up.

If you already subscribe, what did you get in your bag this month?


*edited for accuracy

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Winterize your nails!

Poor freezing cardinal!

 Hi, all!
Winter is here! Ok, not really, but it feels like it. It's been snowy and freezing and so miserable here already. Where did Autumn go??? My hands are doing their best impression of the Sahara Desert. They are dry, dry, dry! My poor neglected cuticles are begging for attention. They're saying, "Please, please, please notice us...and oil us..." Well, maybe not because that would be weird if my cuticles started talking to me, but you know what I mean.

Julep's Winterizing Your Nails tutorial.
Click to enlarge.

Enter stage right Julep's How to Winterize Your Nails tutorial. I was recently contacted by Julep. They wanted me to share my tips on nail care. And, no lie, I squeeeed out loud like a fan-girl! They are my hands-down (pun intended) favorite nail company. The polish is usually one coat (the white takes two for full coverage), lasts so much longer than any other polish I've tried, is 5-free, vegan friendly, and has a special formulation making it healthier for your nails. That being said, I bought everything I use in my tutorial myself. (And have had some of the colors for ages.)

Improvising a bit (because I don't own all of the products listed), I followed their tips to beautiful, healthier nails.


Rough, right?

To start out, I shaped my nails using my crystal nail file.  I really love glass files because they last literally forever and are so easy to clean. This one is super gentle. I file going in one direction from one side and then the other. Never saw back and forth. It's too rough and will cause breakage and splits.

I then used a bit of coconut oil to soften up my cuticles and hands. I just rubbed it on and let it set a few minutes and then wiped the excess off. Then, I used an orange wood stick to push back my cuticles and buffed my nails with my three step buffer.

Julep's Crystal File

A bit better!
 After washing my hands thoroughly to get rid of the oil on my nails, I started the fun part - nail art!

Base color
After applying a clear base coat, I started out with one coat of Julep's Nicolette and painted four nails and did a crescent shape at the bottom of my thumb. Kind of a modified French manicure.

Tree branches

I then took Julep's Fiore and applied it with a toothpick to simulate patchy tree bark.


Using a combination of a crafting stylus and a toothpick, I applied Julep's Nan in a roughly cardinal shape. I Googled images of cardinals for an idea of how it should look. The little pointy bit at the top is too adorable.

Nearly finished

I then added details on the cardinal with Fiore and Gloria (my Mom's name). Gloria is no longer available on the Julep site, but I did find one bottle left on Amazon. Any orange should do. Julep has several still available on their site.

I also drew a snowflake on my thumb using the stylus and added dots with the toothpick in Nicolette.


To finish up, I dotted Nan on the ends of the branches to look like Autumn leaves still stuck to the tree. Let it dry for a bit and then top it off with your favorite top coat.

Julep's Friendsgiving Collection. Gorgeous, right? Kiki reminds me of Frozen's Elsa.

Julep's limited edition Friendsgiving Collection looks amazing. I really thing I need Kiki and Joanne in my own collection.

A few tips:

  1. Always keep your hands and cuticles moisturized. Check the ingredients of your hand creams to make sure it doesn't contain alcohol. Alcohol will dry your skin.
  2. You don't need fancy tools to do nail art. Experiment with different things you already have. I pulled the stylus out of my craft hoard. Bobby pins make excellent dotting tools and so do toothpicks. 
  3. A drop of cuticle oil on your nails each night before bed will make your nails look so much better for longer. Dry, cracked, bleeding cuticles are never cute.
  4. Nail art is temporary. Have fun with it!



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