Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Shellac is the increasingly popular nail gel color that is popping up all over in salons.  Shellac provides high gloss shine, doesn't chip, and can last up to two weeks .  Currently, there are about thirty colors, with quite a few more being released in the upcoming months.   

If you like to change your nail color frequently, opt for a regular manicure, or choose a lighter shade so that you can paint over it.  I did this before and loved it because the new shade lasted just as long as the Shellac and went on sooo smooth!  This can only be applied in a salon for about $20-$30 but I would highly recommend it, especially if you have an important event coming up such as a wedding.  Not having your nails chip is one less thing to worry about! 

While getting a shellac manicure can be pricier, keep in mind that it does last longer.  If you get manicures frequently, you can cut back on the number of trips you make to get your nails done.  Also, there are some DIY alternatives that recently became available in stores.  After a bit of practice, you can be doing it yourself in no time.  

Gelish which can be found at Sally's, is very comparable to Shelac.  The starter kit is $50.00; however, it doesn't come with the UV light that is necessary for the color to set properly.   This can be purchased separately and can be found for under $100.  The nail colors sell for $15 each.

Sensationail and Red Carpet Manicure are two other options.  With an initial investment of about $50 you will have a starter kit complete with a UV light and color.  These options are definitely the best bang for your buck, especially if your just starting to do it yourself.

**Several drugstores also offer gel nail polish that doesn't require a UV light.  It is VERY easy to apply and may be very appealing to those who are concerned about UV light exposure, which is necessary when getting a get manicure.  These nail polishes, which come with everything you need can be found for the very reasonable price of about $10.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

How To Make A Manicure Last Longer

I hate when I get my nails done or I paint them myself and they look great... for a day.  Let's face it, nail polish tends to chip.  To make a manicure last longer you can try these tips:

If you get a manicure, apply a coat of clear nail polish every few days, as this will keep nails shiny and prevent chipping.  

If you paint your nails yourself, file you nails so they are smooth on the ends.  This helps to prevent them from breaking or getting caught on things.  Buff your nails, it will make your nails much smoother.  Apply a base coat or a layer of clear nail polish.  This makes polish go on much smoother as the nail color isn't getting caught in ridges.   Allow for it to dry and then apply two coats of the color of your choice.  Applying two coats ensures that the nail polish goes on evenly.  Then apply your top coat.  I really like OPI, China Glaze, and Sally Hanson.  Even if I use a cheap nail polish for my color, I always try to use a really good top coat, after all this is what is going to keep your nail polish in place.  Top coats also make your nails shiny, so they look like they are professionally done.  Reapply your top coat every few days to maintain great looking polish for a week or more!

Kissable Lips

To make lips really smooth and shiny when going out, try this:

Begin by using a lip scrub/exfolient.  This will gently scrub away the dead skin cells that are on your lips, making them much softer.  This is important when applying lipstick so it doesn't goop around the dry skin.  You can also do this before bed and follow it by applying chapstick/vaseline to keep your lips moisturized.

After exfoliating your lips, apply chapstick.  I really like Blistex medicated lip balm, which also has sun screen.  Applying this before you apply lipstick allows your lipstick to go on much smoother, adds some shine, AND it's moisturizing/preventing dry lips!

Next, apply your desired color of lipstick.  Should go on much smoother.  Depending on the amount of shine you desire, you can add gloss to give your lips that extra shine.  I used to be a huge lover of lipgloss, but I recently started to use vaseline.  I apply this over my lipstick.  It tends to last longer, it's not nearly as sticky, and helps moisturize my lips.

These tips are especially useful when using a bold color such as red.  Because you are drawing attention to your lips, you want them to be perfect!

Money Saving Tips When It Comes To Beauty Products

In the past, I received samples of expensive mascaras that I couldn't imagine going without or fell in love with an expensive brand mascara while shopping and just had to have it.  I have found that it's usually the mascara brush that gives you the effect that you want.  As long as the formula in similar, (ex.waterproof)  simply use the brush from the more expensive bottle in the cheaper bottle.

Aside from being my number 1 hangover cure, I've discovered another reason why Pepto Bismol belongs in my medicine cabinet...  Pepto Bismol facials!  Aside from making your face smoother, it actually contains salicylic acid which is found in a lot of acne fighting products.
So does it actually work?  The answer is YES.  Not only does it immediately tighten pores but acne seems to be less noticeable as well.
Give it a try!

Dry Shampoo that works and is inexpensive?  Try Herbal Essence's.  Not only does it make hair appear less greasy, it smells great too.  Sometimes, for added volume when I straighten my hair, I will spray some of this near my roots instead of hairspray.  Gives hair added volume without adding shine and making your hair sticky.  
Tip:  If you have dark hair, don't apply too much.  Product comes out as a white powder and will only make you look like you have dandruff.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

How to Get Adorable Curls with Minimal Effort

Going out for a big night and want cute, sexy curls that will grab everyone's attention?

Begin by working at the bottom of your hair.  Place the top half of hair securely in a clip to keep in out of the way.  LIGHTLY spray hair with some hairspray.  I usually do the sides first and then the back, so it's like working in three sections but you can do whatever is easier for you.

Hold the iron vertically so that your hands are above your head and the bottom of the iron is pointing towards the floor.  Take a section of hair, brush it, and then wrap it around a 1 inch curling iron.  Notice I said wrap it around the curling iron... don't do it the old fashioned way by actually clipping your hair in the iron and rolling it up that way, unless that's the look you desire.  By wrapping hair around the curling iron, it takes far less time and creates a more sexy/sultry look.

 I wrap it so that the hair will be going away from my face.  Hold hair around the iron for about 10-15 seconds.  Release your grip on the hair and let it fall off of the iron.  (Do not unwind the hair from the iron, doing so may mess up the curl you've made).  After completing each section, gently run your fingers through the curls you've made.  Re-curl as necessary.  Lightly spray hair while gently scrunching.

Repeat the above step on the opposite side.  **Remember this is the bottom section of your hair, which will not be seen much, so you don't have to spend a lot of time on it and it doesn't have to be perfect.

Release the remaining hair from the clip.  Do the same thing as you did underneath and make sure that you are curling the hair in the same direction.  Each side should be going away from your face.  

After I am finished curling all of the pieces that I want curled, I usually run my fingers through all of it once of twice, re-curl or add any curls where I think they may be needed (this adds volume and more defined curls) and then I lightly spray my hair.  Done!  Now you should have a beautiful head of curls.

I naturally have a bit of wave to my hair, so on days where I don't want to spend a lot of time doing my hair, I simply place a few curls here and there, run my fingers through all of my hair to blend it so that I have a beach sexy look.

Recommended hair sprays:
Love Bumble and Bumble Thickening Spray.  Without making your hair sticky and difficult to work with, it adds volume and texture to hair and makes it much easier to curl.  Maintains curls very well.  

I LOVE Aussie, it smells great, maintains your curls, and it VERY affordable.  Aussie offers a variety of sprays, so you can choose which level of hold would work best for your hair.  If you do choose to use a higher level of hold, wait until you've finished styling your hair to apply it because hair can be difficult to work with after applied because it holds so well. 
I also really like Herbal Essences Body Envy Volumizing Hairspray.  It adds a lot of shine and you can still work with your hair after you've sprayed it in because it doesn't make it too sticky.

Tarina Tarantino- Pearl Glow Primer

Fabulous product!  Usually, I apply this after applying my eyeshadow.  I apply enough to shimmer below my brow and then proceed to blend some over my eyeshadow to give it some shimmer.  It looks beautiful.  

I also place some above the center of my upper lip to make my li[s appear fuller.  I put some on the top of my cheek bones for highlighting and just a tad bit down the bridge of my nose.  (Makes it appear smaller)

Gives the perfect shimmering glow!

If you don't feel like splurging, try Elf's.  It's about $1 and works really good too!  Can be found on their site EyesLipsFace-Shimmer Stick or in Target.  

Bare Escentuals

Their saying is right, makeup so pure, you can sleep in it!

$60 may seem like a hefty price tag when purchasing makeup, but this starter kit is worth it!  It comes with all the brushes you need to apply foundation, blushes, bronzers, etc.  There are 3 different starter sets to choose from: fair, medium, or dark, depending on your skin tone.  
When I first used this product, I wasn’t aware that I had makeup on my face- and not because I didn’t look good!  It went on so smooth, hid any imperfections, and was sooo lightweight!  Once I started using this, I couldn’t stop.  It has been one of my favorites basic makeup products ever since.  Bare Minerals bronzer goes on so perfectly and gives you just the right amount of color.
This kit doesn’t come with eyeshadows, mascara, or lipstick; however they do have additional kits you can purchase to obtain your desired look.  They also sell makeup products individually.  If you are just starting out though, I definitely recommend the starter kit.Individually, the brushes and makeup are about $15-$23 each.  If you purchased everything separately, the total cost would be over $100.  Definitely worth it to purchase the starter kit, even if your planning to purchase additional products.