Nail Polish Obsession

Help! I think I have a problem. I have a nail polish obsession. I just counted at I have 48 different colors. That doesn’t include the duplicates I have of my favorite color. Surely this must be an obsession.

Have you ever been in a store and you see something you use and LOVE on sale? Have you ever thought to yourself, “It’s on sale, I should get a backup for when I run out.” You haven’t? Okay, then it’s just me. I was in Sephora the other day browsing after I had gotten my eyebrows threaded at the place I go to in the mall. I had a gift card to Sephora, so I was perusing the shelves. Sephora has a teeny tiny sale section. Not really section, more like an end cap. I was looking at that end cap and what should I find, but nail polish by the brand that makes my favorite color – Nails Inc. I was looking at all of the bright, pretty summer colors when I found my favorite color in the back of the little cubby.

I got super excited because it was 50% off. Of course I thought, “I’m going to need this as a backup. The one I have going right now is over half empty and getting super clumpy.” When I got home, I realized I now don’t have one but TWO backups of my favorite polish. This pleases me.

My favorite polish and color is Nails Inc Gel Effect in the color porchester square. It is a gray beige with just a hint of lavender in it. It really is lovely. I bought the first bottle this past winter and haven’t stopped obsessing over it. I didn’t realize I already had a backup, but I will use it eventually. After painting my fingernails on Friday with the bottle that was opened, it had to be thrown out as it was about two thirds of the way gone and super clumpy. Painting my nails was difficult with that bottle. Next time, I will have a fresh bottle to open and use. I have seen Nails Inc polish at Sephora and Ulta. A drug store alternative would be the color chincilly by essie. Very similar color, but I have found I prefer the Nails Inc Gel Effect formulation over essie.

I then top off the color with Seche Vite’s Dry Fast Top Coat. Super fast drying and very long lasting. I have only found Seche Vite on Amazon. I would think maybe beauty supply stores stock it, but I’m not 100% sure.

Now, I am down to two fresh bottles of porchester square. I have an obsession and needed a backup for my backup.

Do you have a nail polish obsession too?


Favorite Drug Store Foundations

I have a few foundations from the drug store that I keep on rotation. They are all very similar in formulation and texture. As you can see from the photo below, there is a bit of a color variation. Depending upon how tan my face is dictates which one I will use.

From left to right, L’Oreal True Match Lumi in the color N1-2, Covergirl Outlast Stay Luminous in the color 810, and Rimmel Londen Lasting Finish in the color 091. The most used for me is the Covergirl foundation because that is the closest to my natural skin color. The other two are used when I have gotten some sun. As the names suggest, the L’Oreal and Coverlast are supposed to make you look luminous. I’m not really sure how they do it, but there is a bit of a dewy look. Dewy, not oily.

Out of the three, the L’Oreal does make my face look a bit more shiny later in the day. I usually have to use a setting powder all over with the L’Oreal foundation. A favorite setting powder is made by Rimmel London and it is their Stay Matte powder.

I have used this powder for years. It is one I always end up going back to after trying other powders. The only powder I have found to rival this one is the matte powder made by essence I spoke about here.

These three foundations I have found to be great drug store alternatives to higher end brands. I love the lasting and staying power of the Rimmel Lasting Finish foundation.

Have you tried any of these foundations? What are your thoughts?

Holy Grail Hair Products: Leave-in Conditioner

I have a holy grail hair product. That is a very gutsy thing to say. But it is true.
I absolutely LOVE It’s a 10 miracle leave-in plus keratin. I have been using this for at least two years, possibly three. It’s a 10 is a leave in conditioner, that surprise surprise, provides ten benefits. It’s a 10 provides the following ten things instantly (according to the back of the bottle):

  • Maintenance of keratin straightening treatments
  • Increases styling and manageability
  • Perfect for all hair types
  • Replaces lost protein
  • Protects the natural keratin in hair
  • Protects against heat
  • Restores hydration balance
  • Detangles, defrizzes & adds shine
  • Strengthens hair structure
  • Seals cuticles for extra silky hair

Basically, after washing my hair and a brief towel dry, I spritz the It’s a 10 leave in conditioner in my hair. I then blow dry my hair and style as usual. The large bottle pictured above is 10 ounces and lasts more than 6 months. Now even longer since I’m washing my hair less.
I prefer It’s a 10 miracle leave-in plus keratin over the original It’s a 10 version. It’s not because of the keratin, but I actually prefer the smell of this one versus the original. It’s a minor detail and I think both work the same equally as well. I have tried other leave-in products, but haven’t found one I love as much as this.
What are your holy grail hair products?

Dry Shampoo Changed Me

I am a changed lady because of dry shampoo. If anyone who knows me well or has lived with me, they would know I like to take showers and baths. That used to also include wash my hair every day and multiple times a day if I could. The washing my hair every day has changed. I still love showering and taking baths and that has not changed.

Over the last month or so I’ve really gotten into only washing my hair every other day. The reason I feel I now can do that is because of dry shampoo. I think I finally understand how they work and how they work best on my own hair.

My two favorites are pictured above. The refresh+care dry shampoo by Dove is great, pictured on the left in the white bottle. It smells fantastic and does not leave a white residue on my dark hair like other brands do. Dove is easy to find at drug stores and is fairly inexpensive. I’ve repurchased this same dry shampoo many times. The amika perk up dry shampoo is my all time favorite. It smells SO GOOD and has a light texture that doesn’t make my hair feel gritty. I order it online. This is the first bottle I’ve tried. Once I’m out of both of these, I will likely order another bottle of amika’s dry shampoo because I love it so much.

Here’s what I do. I wash my hair every other day, so on mornings I know I’m not washing my hair, I put my hair up in a bun on top of my head. I then shower as normal, but try my best to keep my hair dry. Then, when I get out of the shower I take my hair out of the bun and liberally spray the dry shampoo on the parts of my hair that I know get greasy. That includes my hairline near my forehead, ears, and neck. I then pulse or spritz in the product in the length of my hair and feel for any oily spots. Once I’m done applying the dry shampoo, I leave it alone and eat breakfast. I do not brush or comb it out right away. I let the dry shampoo soak into my hair and have found this technique to work best for me. Once done with breakfast which takes five to ten minutes, I brush through my hair and then will touch it up with my flat iron. Sometimes my hair is a bit crazy in the morning, so I have found I do need to straighten some of it again. Once flat ironed and straight, I check to make sure I don’t need any more dry shampoo. If so, I will add a bit more and run through my hair with my fingers. Then spritz with hairspray and I’m done.

This has definitely cut down on the time it takes to get ready in the morning as I am not using a hair dryer to dry my hair every morning. I also feel my scalp and hair are not as dry as they used to be. I feel my hair is getting healthier.

Do you wash your hair every day? Do you use dry shampoo? If so, what is your favorite dry shampoo?

Birchbox vs. ipsy: August 2015

The time has come. It’s a face off between Birchbox and ipsy.

Let me start off by saying I adore Birchbox and have really loved the monthly boxes since I began it in May of 2013. It has only been recently where I’ve been feeling a little “meh” about my monthly boxes. This month though, I think Birchbox hit a home run. My favorite sample this month is the smoothing fluid by Rene Furterer. I haven’t heard of the brand prior to this and it has made my hair ridiculously soft on the days I wash my hair. I apply about a dime sized amount when my hair is still damp and then blow dry.

The ipsy glam bag made me get excited about samples again. I absolutely loved that there were two full sized products in it. TWO! That has never happened with Birchbox. My favorite product was the nail polish from Trust Fund Beauty. I love the color and foresee many manicures and pedicures using it. I did notice with ipsy, I had not heard of any of the brands of products received in my glam bag. The brands for the five samples were completely foreign to me. It’s intriguing as I could potentially find an awesome product or brand, but I don’t know anything about the brand and their reputation. With Birchbox, I had heard of four out of the five brands in my August box.

This is beginning to feel a bit like a pro con list, so let’s roll with it. Birchbox comes in a cardboard box. I have used these boxes to put gifts in and then wrap up, but right now have a huge stack under my desk that I keep knocking over. The ipsy glam bag comes in an actual bag which I think is cool. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with all of them once I begin accumulating a bunch. Maybe use them as a gift wrapping as well.

The race between the two is neck and neck for me. This month, I feel Birchbox squeaked out a win. I have been reaching for the samples in my Birchbox over the ipsy glam bag this month. I definitely do think ipsy has the potential to win out though. I am giving ipsy a fair shot and trying out all of their samples.

If you subscribe to one or both, what are your thoughts? Do you have any other good subscription services you’re a part of?

ipsy Glam Bag: August 2015

As mentioned in my previous post about my August Birchbox, I also received my very first ipsy glam bag. This monthly subscription service of beauty products is not a new concept. I am pleasantly surprised and satisfied by my first month’s products.

The products I received are: nail polish by Trust Fund Beauty in the color elegantly wasted, an eye and lip pencil by Skone Cosmetics, a face mask by Juara, a lipstick by noyah in the color desert rose, and a volumizing blow dry spray by Briogeo. What I am most thrilled about is that I received not one, but two full sized products. The nail polish and the eye and lip pencil are both full sized. This pleases me.

The ipsy glam bag also comes in an actual bag, so that hounds tooth printed bag is what everything came in. So far, I’m really happy with this month’s items. The nail polish is very pretty lilac color. The volumizing blow dry spray smells incredible. With this being my very first glam bag, I’m going to keep getting the subscription for the next couple of months.

I’m going to do a proper review between the two subscription services next, so stay tuned. I’m going to keep subscribing to both for now and will let you know which box or bag I like better.

Birchbox: August 2015

I received my Birchbox super early this month! Earlier than usual – I received it last Saturday, the 8th. This pleases me. Normally I don’t receive my box until the 16th or 17th of the month. I’m fairly certain the reason why I received my Birchbox for August so early is because I chose the guest editor box.

The guest editor box is a monthly box that is curated by someone – a celebrity, blogger, etc. This month, it happens to be Nicole Richie. Now, I don’t have a particular inclination toward Nicole Richie, but the products in this month’s box appealed to me. Birchbox sends an email at the beginning of the month letting you choose your monthly sample choice or the guest editor box. Most of the time, the guest editor boxes seem just okay to me. This month though, I got excited about it.

I got excited about it because I really wanted to try the gradual in-shower tan by St. Tropez (white tube). That was the reasoning behind choosing the guest editor box. I also received a microdermabrasion skin exfoliant by dr. brandt (black tube), a lip crayon by LAQA & Co. (pink stick), nail polish by OPI (middle), and a leave-in smoothing fluid by Rene Furterer (purple tube). I have a different lip crayon from LAQA & Co. so I’m happy I received a different formula and color! The only thing I am not super thrilled with is the black nail polish from OPI. Also, do you see how tiny that bottle is?! I’m going to paint my nails twice and it will be gone.

I’m definitely a lot more happy with this month’s box than I was with July’s box. And, I received all of my samples… We will continue to see if Birchbox keeps knocking it out of the park.

Coming up next, I received my very first ipsy glam bag so stay tuned for that!