2016 Favorites

I’m sticking to last year’s annual favorites format because it worked well.

2016 Favorites - Garnier & Simple Micellar Water

Garnier Micellar Water, $7; Simple Micellar Water, $8

If I had to pick a single type of product to name as a favorite in 2016, I’d have to say micellar water is it. I like both of these and purchase whichever is a better value at the time. I’ve totally given up makeup wipes in favor of using this with cotton pads or a reusable makeup removing cloth.

Pantene Pro-V Stylers Mousse, $6

This mousse is my, “daily driver.” Out of the (average) 135 days per year I blow-dry my hair, this product is in my hair at least 95 of them. (The remaining ~40 is either hyper-lazy, product-free, or calls for the big guns.) It is accessible, inexpensive, and reliable – and it works well on my hair.

Gimme Brow

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2015 Holiday Gift Guide – Under 15

I’ve thrown out some things here-and-there that could make decent gifts, but I haven’t set out to make a whole guide. But because I’m a skeptic, I have to look past the enticing glittery packaging.

Maybe you’re looking for gifts for your friends or family. Maybe it’s a gift exchange with a coworker you don’t know so well. If you need to stuff a stocking, too, there’s a lot of good ideas in the 2015 Holiday Gift Guide – Under $15.

Also, before we get into the list – if you’re in the United States, don’t go shopping tomorrow. It’s a dick move. Tomorrow is a day for a lot of things, and shopping isn’t one of them. Happy Thanksgiving!


The Wet Brush, $9

I’ve sung the praises of this brush, and even gave one away. If your recipient that has hair that requires brushing, this is a win.

Turbie Twist Stock Photo

Turbie Twist, $12.50, pack of 2

Keeping to the theme of haircare, this is something I think many people (at this point) might not buy for themselves (because of the understandable As Seen on TV stigma). That said, it is an inexpensive, practical beauty tool that I’m really satisfied with. If you wanted to make this part of a larger gift solution, maybe pair it with a leave-in treatment and a facial masque.

More after the jump…

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Worth it? OPI Color Paints

OPI makes a good polish. They make my (and cult) favorite red, I’m Not Really a Waitress. Their wide brushes changed the application game when they hit the market ages ago; they’re a staple in many salons and policy fanciers’ collections. Even though I am primarily a gel fanatic these days, I feel that I can typically rely on OPI for quality and consistency.

But in the last couple years, they’ve been getting a little silly. Not all of their collections have been eyeroll-worthy – the Coca Cola collection, for instance, was pretty cool. But when I saw OPI Color Paints in a recent Ulta email…well, they screamed, “gimmick!”

OPI Color Paints Minis

And not just, “gimmick,” but, “TIRED.”

The OPI Color Paints collection features a mostly-opaque silver, “base,” coat and several translucent colors to slap on top — wait.

Isn’t that similar to another collection of OPI’s I’ve written about?

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December 2014 Favorites

December 2014 FavoritesDecember 2014 Favorites
1. Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil, $16 / 2. Kat von D Foiled Love Lipstick in Adora, discontinued /
3. OPI Gelcolor in I’m Not Really a Waitress, $15 (varies) / 4. Red Carpet Manicure Glitz and Glamorous, $10 /
5. L’Oreal Infalliable Eyeshadow in Bronzed Taupe, $7

Rather than waiting a week to get these out, I decided to publish my December 2014 Favorites today. I feel like I should have more on my list, but they kind of overlap with last month…and I imagine next month’s will overlap with this month, too. :P I hope 2014 has been awesome to you, and that 2015 is even more fulfilling.

Before moving on to my favorites, today is the final day for my Urban Decay Naked2 Basics giveaway – it ends at 11:59PM EST, go check it out!

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Not a Fan: OPI Sheer Tints

I’ve said before that nails are my thing (though my nails have been bare for the longest time in recent memory because I haven’t had time to redo them, ahem). Even though I do not jump to buy every newly-released nail line, I do like to stay abreast of what is coming out.

The makers of my second-favorite polish to-date (I’m Not Really a Waitress, if you’re wondering) have released a new product that is all over blog-land and twitter: OPI Sheer Tints polish. The OPI Sheer Tints line consists of four glossy top coats that just so happen to have a touch of color. The shades, in classic OPI-wordplay-style, are:

  • I’m Never Amberrassed – sheer, warm yellow.
  • Be Magentale With Me – sheer magenta (pink)
  • Don’t Violet Me Down – sheer, mid-tone purple.
  • I Can’t Teal You Like Me – sheer, mid-tone blue.

I’ve checked them out on several blogs and OPI’s own promotional material, including their tutorials. I just cannot get excited or interested in these things. The yellow (I’m Never Amberrassed) makes nails look discolored and, frankly, kind of gross. Perilously Pale shared some swatches of the polish (please go check out her blog!) and although her assessment is positive, I just don’t care for it. Here’s her photo of I’m Never Amberrassed.

OPI Sheer Tints - I'm Never Amberrassed from Perilously Paleagain, this is not my photo – photo is courtesy of Perilously Pale.
credit where credit is due, everyone! don’t be shady.

I am not a fan of seeing the smile line of a nail through polish unless it is a neutral sheer meant for a relatively natural, subdued look. These just remind me of poorly-formulated, cheap polishes in the past (like the kids sets?). OPI themselves tweeted this photo on an, “ombre,” manicure done with the product, and I’m just not impressed, and would definitely not purchase these for $10 each.

I don’t really care for ending things on a negative note – I have seen some pretty cool things done with them by other bloggers, like this rainbow manicure from Lacquered Lover, or this dotted yellow mani layered over white (for opacity) and this gold-striped ombre pink set both from Nail that Accent. While I’m happy these bloggers made these OPI Sheer Tints work for them, I just think if I HAVE to conjure up that much creativity to get a product to, “work,” for me, then it isn’t a very wise purchase.