May 2017 Favorites

May 2017 FavoritesMay 2017 Favorites
Fieldcrest
and Threshold Bath Sheets (Target), $10 /
OPI Bubble Bath, $9 / Clarisonic Radiance Brush Head, $27

Short post this month – my month was full with work, so I didn’t do much fun beauty stuff. In reality, I find it sketchy to see bloggers or vloggers touting 10-15 new, “favorite,” products per month. Seems disingenuous. Even if content creation is your full time gig, it isn’t realistic.

Read more…

Jealous AF of Pro-Only Gelish PolyGel

Gelish PolyGelGelish PolyGel Master Kit, Pro-Only, price unknown

Acrylics never were my thing. I tried them a couple times and just didn’t love them (probably because I never got a great set, but still). I’m fortunate to have reasonably well-behaved natural nails, so why mess with a good thing? Hard gel enhancements (read: not gel polish) always intrigued me, but I never found a salon that actually did them. I found many salons who professed to do gel services but were instead falsely advertising acrylics with a UV topcoat as a gel enhancement service. Oops.

Gelish is most well-known among consumers for being a gel polish company. I’ve had my criticisms of them, but their latest product is cutting edge…and I’m kind of pissed I can’t shop at CosmoProf as a result!

Read more…

April 2017 Favorites

April 2017 Favorites
GVP Compare to Clairol Shimmer Lights
, $10 / Sally Hansen Cuticle Massage Cream, $5 /
Tarte Shape Tape, $25 / L’Oreal Sublime Glow, $9 / Febreze One, $6

I made a typo when I was writing out the title of this post – I accidentally wrote, “April 2015 Favorites.” Yeah, right.

I’ve moved on from Blond Brilliance. Priced similarly for way more product, Sally Beauty’s GVP line has what is apparently an excellent dupe of Clairol Shimmer Lights. I wouldn’t know because I haven’t tried Shimmer Lights, but what I do know is that this stuff is glorious for preservation of blonde.

It’s back! My cuticles are a mess since the manicure that blew my no buy. They did a fairly shoddy job, and now my fingers are worse off than before. This is the universe’s way of getting me back, ha. To help protect them, I’ve been slathering the Sally Hansen Cuticle Massage cream into them a couple times a day. I’m almost all fixed up.

I’ve jumped on the bandwagon. Shape Tape is a really great concealer. It isn’t some godly ambrosia perfect for every situation as the masses on YouTube would have you believe, but it is pretty solid.

I’m using Cabana Tan on my legs, but my arms (which take color at a comically rapid rate and do not suffer aggressive exfoliation from shaving) are getting a gradual sunless tanner for now. I’ve used Jergens with success but wanted to try L’Oreal Sublime Glow for fun and bought it over the winter – I like how it smells a bit more than the Jergens, and it seems as effective. Bonus? This has a small bit of fun, non-distracting, non-tacky shimmer – just enough to highlight the skin ever-so-faintly and give it a bit more life. I use medium. Note: This isn’t Sublime BRONZE, which is their more aggressive sunless tanner. This is the gradual one!

I’ll be the first to admit I have a Febreze problem. I have since as long as I can remember. Back in the day, it was Meadows and Rain. Then, Thai Dragonfruit, Allergen Reducer (smells surprisingly nice and I still use it). Next (and also currently), the Tide scented one since that’s my husband’s laundry detergent preference. I’ve tried and liked many more. Then, Febreze came out with their refillable Febreze One product and I immediately purchased it. It’s a fabric refresher and air freshener in one. It’s non-aerosol, and you can buy refill cartridges rather than whole new bottles. The Bamboo scent reminds me of something between Tide and Meadows and Rain – it’s clean, but not nauseatingly so. There’s a distinct, crisp Ozone note that I can’t.get.enough.of (its what I love about Yankee’s Margaritaville Mother Ocean candles!) Anyway, then BzzAgent sent me the other two scents which are quite lovely as well. I love that they’re lower-waste and that it’s a multi-use product. Couch? Curtains? Bathroom? Office? Handled.

Why I Don’t Get Salon Manicures

This is a legacy post that I’ve given a facelift because for some reason in April I think it’s a good idea to get a manicure…only to be disappointed every. single. time. Content is the same with spiffed-up formatting and another anecdote from this year.

Bitey

Once upon a time, I was a horrific nail-biter. Jagged, short, lame. I eventually stopped myself, but not by self-torture (bitter nail drops and whatnot), but instead I painted my ragged nails. I eventually did not want to mar the polish (or have it in my mouth), so I eventually broke the habit. Over time, I leveled up my polishing skill and now my nails are awesome and the envy of millions generally pretty nice!

In a Groove

Since then, nails became my thing. Long before I bothered with makeup or tried to pretend that I could manage my hair, nails were my thing. I feel put together when they’re tidy. My polish collection is decent and find the process relaxing, especially when I’m using gel polish that is relatively odor-free. I rarely have to clean around the nail afterwards, and I rarely have to retouch.

Praise be to DIY

I DIY most of my own manicures and do not bother with salon manicures. So many salons that are in a friendly price point do not take time with their clients; it’s all quantity over quality. I hate being rushed and I hate paying so much (even at a ‘friendly’ price point) for something I can do 20x better myself.

Beyond that, my collection consists all of polishes I like, so I don’t risk going to a salon and being left with a picked-over, old, separated, and thinned-with-thinner OPI polishes that are, frankly, the odd ones out – or, in the case of the topcoat in the OPI bottle, not even a freaking OPI product! Although I know I could bring my own polish, I usually don’t; the polish is part of the price for the service. You don’t get a discount for supplying your own product.

I am also not a fan of how it feels when someone else files my fingernails – I can’t describe it, but it bothers me at a cellular level. Too little is done to stabilize my fingers, and everyone knows that back-and-forth zig-zag filing is bad for the nail…yet so many do it! I can do just fine on my own and save money.

Read more…

Deborah Lippmann The Stripper to Go

Deborah Lippmann The Stripper To Go Foil PacketDeborah Lippmann The Stripper to Go, $12

This is a legacy post that I’ve given a facelift because it’s a neat product. Opinions are the same, but is formatted and edited for easier reading and flow.

I received a single Deborah Lippmann The Stripper to Go sample foil in a cadre of samples . I tend to use pure acetone to remove my nail polish these days – the silly additives don’t actually seem to help, and they just weaken the product. When I wear regular polish, I tend to wear shimmery and glittery colors which pure acetone removes far more efficiently  less glitter and shimmer these days, but still. More often, though, I wear gel nail polish – a bottle of Cutex is not going to cut that.

Giving it a Go

I happened to be wearing a fun bright green on my toes that was ready to come off (China Glaze I’m With the Lifeguard, mentioned in my May Favorites, if you’re wondering). Out of acetone, but having just gone though my samples I reached for my sample Deborah Lippmann The Stripper to Go. I glanced at the packet and noticed it was supposed to smell like lavender, and that it was a, “finger mitt.” What? I wasn’t sure what to expect here, but the packaging said that one mitt will remove polish from all ten fingers.

Ripping the Deborah Lippmann The Stripper to Go package open, I was greeted with the smell of acetone and something trying to be lavender. There was a little fabric pouch that with one rounded, closed end and a squared, open end. A-ha, a mitt. You insert a finger or thumb into it like so.

Deborah Lippmann The Stripper to Go Finger Mitt

I found that Deborah Lippmann The Stripper to Go works better slipped over your thumb; you can, “scrub,” your nails more effectively.

Effectiveness

It worked OK for not being 100% pure acetone, and didn’t smell quite as harsh. I did have to work a little harder with it than I have become accustomed to; I’m not sure whether to attribute that to the formula or the mitt itself. The mitt was textured such that with the stronger product it would have made extremely quick work of the remnants of my pedicure.

Unfortunately, I could not remove all the polish from my toes before the product was spent. I wouldn’t say this is a bad thing; it advertises being able to take polish off ten fingers. Unless you have atypical digits, the combined surface area of your toenails is greater than the combined surface area of your fingernails.

I do not see this being effective for gel polish removal.

The Bottom Line

I thought it might be nice for travel purposes and found that it retails for $12 for six mitts. If it does remove all polish from all ten nails, that would put this product at $2 per removal. This is considerably more expensive than acetone and cotton balls. If you travel often and have to frequently redo your manicures, though, it might be a good (albeit costly) solution.

I do have a favorable opinion of this product compared to my initial perception of it as a gimmick. Unfortunately, though, my favorable opinion of the product does NOT outweigh its price. I still won’t be purchasing for myself unless I have extensive travel on the horizon.