Winter Beauty Buys: Eyes

Continuing my little beauty series, this week I wanted to focus on my favorites for eyes during winter.2015-02-18 16.19.07

Mica Beauty Cosmetics Mineral Eye Shadow in Earth2015-02-18 16.19.25

This is another one of those products that is great to use year round, but I particularly love it during winter because it’s a great neutral eye shadow with shimmer for when I’m at my palest.

Butter London Wink Eye Pencil in Earl Grey2015-02-18 16.19.57

This is a great silver-gray colored eye pencil. I love this for winter because it’s not as harsh as the typical black, and pairs great with the eye shadow I just mentioned above. (Not to mention, I received this in a Pop Sugar box, and now it’s part of my daily winter routine!)

Tarte Colored Clay CC Eye Primer Stick2015-02-18 16.20.23

I’ve been really happy with this product since I purchased it last year. It really does help hold my eyeliners and shadows in place all day. It’s definitely a daily go-to beauty product for me.

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara2015-02-18 16.20.41

I switch up my mascaras quite frequently, but I’ve really loved this one since the first day I used it. Combining this mascara with the shadow and liner above creates the perfect everyday eye look for winter.

What eye products do you use during winter on the regular?

Thanks for reading,

Lynda

Pop Sugar Must Have October 2014 Subscription Box Review

2014-10-27 18.06.42There were a lot of issues surrounding the Pop Sugar box this month that resulted in multiple emails being sent out to acknowledge these issues. I always stalk the ladies at MUT to see if anyone got their box early, and a lot of people posting on there were very frustrated for one reason or another. I happened to be one of the people that never got shipment confirmation or notifications, but my box did happen to show up last night! Hopefully next month, everything will go smoother for them.

2014-10-27 19.08.59What’s in the box:

 Butter London Wink Eye Pencil- $18

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I already have about 7 or 8 of Butter London’s nail polish and I absolutely love it, but I’ve never tried any of their other makeup items. This is one of their blendable eye pencils in the color Earl Grey. It has a slight shimmer to it, but I do actually really like the way it looks…it’s a really dark grey which is a great alternative to wearing black all the time. This liner also says it sets in 30 seconds (and that you can blend it out) and wears for 24 hours, so I’m going to try it out today and see if it actually does last all day.

Happy Socks- $12

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My socks from last year with the ones from the Pop Sugar box

My socks from last year with the ones from the Pop Sugar box

Soooo….the company I work for sold this brand last year, so I already knew I loved these before I got them because I already have 3-4 pairs of them! In fact, I have a pair that are very similar. I love these to wear with booties for a pop of color underneath jeans, or to wear with riding boots. They are also perfect to wear with pj’s while you cozy up by the fireplace with a warm cocoa.

 Hall Designs Shoreline Shea Butter/Olive Oil Bar Soap- $10

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This soap smells really good. And even though it doesn’t scream “fall” scent, it does have something in there that reminds me of the holidays. (I don’t even know why because it totally has a beachy scent to it.) I don’t use bar soap at all, so I’m considering turning this into a liquid soap or gifting it over the holidays. Side note: this brand also makes the Barr-Co. products, which I already love.

Dean & Deluca Pumpkin Spice Malt Balls- $5.75

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I already love boutique style candies, and since mine didn’t come melted like a lot of other subscribers seemed to get, these were great. I don’t think they taste super “pumpkiny,” however, they do taste like the “spices” you do associate with pumpkin. Either way, I think they are delicious…I’m also not really picky when it comes to chocolate. (Also, Happy National Chocolate Day!!!)

Mine Design Chalkboard Candle- $24

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I agree with other subscribers that it would have been nice to get a candle with a fall scent this month, but I do love the concept of this candle. I can change the design anytime I want with the chalk that was provided, and once my candle is completely burned, I can even reuse the ceramic container (maybe for my makeup brushes…I’ll figure something out). My candles scent is pomegranate, but for some reason it smells like a fresh spring scent…not really reminiscent of fall, but I’ll still use it!

Isaac Jacobs International Acrylic Frame- $36

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I’ve seen these frames before (probably not this brand), and thought they were cool, but never wanted to spend the money on them. I don’t really have too many pictures to frame either, but I’ll probably use this for something…or I’ll gift it during the holidays. Either way, it’s nice.

Nailed Kit Halloween Decals- $8

So, I was thinking that I was lucky when I saw that my box arrived last night, because I was getting to actually use these decals before it was actually Halloween…I’m sure some subscribers are going to be upset when they get their October boxes in November, because that makes this product worthless until next year. However, my nail decals weren’t in the box! I didn’t get them at all!!! So yeah, it’s on the list of things in the box, yet, I didn’t get them in my box at all…so I guess I’ll be contacting Pop Sugar about that.

The Blue Jean Bar Blue Jean Box- $40 dollars off box

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This is a unique coupon code for $40 dollars of the subscription box service offered by The Blue Jean Bar. It’s similar to the other clothing subscription services where there is a stylist that curates your box and mails it to you, and then you choose what to keep and what to mail back, and you only pay for what you keep. I may or may not try this out…if I do, I’ll post it on here. I’m conflicted though, because I work for a denim company, so I’m not sure I want to try this out since it focuses on denim, which I don’t need.

Overall Thoughts on the October Box:

I did like the items I got in my box this month, though it was lackluster compared to other previous boxes. This may be because I was reading all the negative comments about how this month didn’t go by so smoothly in terms of billing and shipping since their new website launch. But I’m torn, because I will use everything I got in this box in some way, even if it’s by gifting it. And past boxes with bigger ticket items are either a hit or miss. But who knows, I definitely understand that these boxes can’t please everyone. Hopefully next months box will be awesome!

Value of box: $105.75

(Not including the $8 Nailed Kit decals since I didn’t get those, or the $40 off BJB Express coupon since not everyone will use that)

Bows and Arrows,

Lynda

Guide for Great At-Home Manicures

2014-09-19 12.26.15Over the past year, I’ve had a number of people compliment my nail colors, ask where I got my nails done (when I’ve done them myself), tell me I do a wonderful job painting my own nails, and ask how in the world my manicure holds up for at least a week, and even longer, when I do it myself. Since so many people seem shocked when they find out I’ve done my nails myself, I’ve finally decided to let everyone know my routine, so they can have great manicures too!

The first thing I think everyone needs to do in order to have a good at-home manicure, is to determine if you have any nail needs. This is important because if you don’t cater to issues your nails might be having, your manicure isn’t going to hold up as well as it should. What do I mean by nail issues? My nails are quite thick, however, yours might not be. Using a base coat that caters to hardening nails would be something beneficial for you. My nails in particular are prone to splitting, mainly at the tops around the free edges of my nail, which was the main reason I would have nail polish chipping in the past. My polish itself wasn’t chipping off, but rather, a layer of my nail was peeling off, taking parts of polish with it. Because I know this is a problem and can cause issues with my manicure, I found something that helped it.

Moving on!2014-09-16 09.39.39

Step One: Remove any nail polish currently on your nails with nail polish remover. While I know acetone is not the best remover I could be using, it works wonders when it comes to removing glitter polish.

Step Two: Wash your hands with soap and warm water.

Step Three: Using a cuticle pusher, gently push down your cuticles. You’ll notice some dust, for lack of a better word, starting to appear. That’s ok. Taking the pointed end of your cuticle pusher, gently remove any dust and any left over polish residue under your cuticle or around your nail edge that may remain from your previous mani. DO NOT WASH YOUR HANDS!!

Step Four: THIS STEP IS IMPORTANT! Run a cotton ball with nail polish remover over your nails. No need to scrub, because you already removed your polish. This time you are just cleaning up any remaining residue. It’s important to complete this step, rather than washing your hands again. If you washed your hands again, you could be depositing soap residue or fibers from the cloth you dried your hands on, onto your nails, which won’t allow your polish to set properly, thus ruining your mani before you even start it! That’s no good.

Step Five: Begin with your base coat. I use Sally Hansen Nail Nutrition Green Tea + Bamboo Strength which I’ve mentioned in a previous Favorites post. This is what I find helps with my nails splitting all the time. It seems to “seal” the areas that are beginning to split. Apply 1 thin coat.2014-09-15 21.30.18

Step Six: Once your base coat is dry and no longer sticky, you can begin applying your polish. Apply in thin layers and try to cover your entire nail quickly. If you work too slow, the polish can sometimes be ‘pulled’ by the brush when you are trying to paint the rest of your nail. If you apply too thick of a layer, the top will start to dry creating an uneven manicure and can also cause indentations in your polish. Or you’ll think your mani is completely dry, only to find out it wasn’t… Thin layers are key!!! Many people get annoyed when the first coat is slightly see-through or uneven looking, but that’s what multiple coats are for! When you’re applying your layers of polish, always be sure to wait until your current layer is no longer tacky before applying your next coat. Yet again, this is important so you’re not “pulling” your polish.2014-09-15 22.02.31

Step Seven: Once you have finished layering your coats of polish and they are no longer sticky, you can apply your top-coat. I use Butter London’s Hardwear P.D. Quick Topcoat. I really love this one because the shine it leaves is similar to gel manis and it also dries quickly. It also doesn’t thicken up over time like I’ve experienced with other top-coat polishes. You’ll know what I mean if this has happened to you.2014-09-15 22.59.09

Step Eight: Once your top coat has been on your nails for 5 minutes, apply some quick dry drops to your nails. Angle your nails downward when you apply the drops, so they move from your cuticle downward to the tip of your nail.2014-09-15 22.16.46

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Step Nine: Wait. Just sit there and relax. And wait it out. This is seriously coming from one of the most impatient people ever, so I know you can do it!! Honestly, when I’m waiting for my polish to finish drying, I watch Youtube videos, or read other blogs, websites, etc. You can still type on your computer if you’re careful!

I didn't use Julep's Freedom Polymer Top Coat on my nails this time, but it is also a good top coat option.

I didn’t use Julep’s Freedom Polymer Top Coat on my nails this time, but it is also a good top coat option.

Step Ten: After your nails have successfully dried, take your cuticle pusher and using the pointy end, gently scrap off any polish that made it onto your skin.

You’re finished! Enjoy your new manicure! I will say, try not to paint your nails right before you know you’re going to be scrubbing out a cast iron skillet or some other task requiring your hands doing some sort of rough work. Even though your mani is dry and ready to go, it does take some time to really set and harden before it can handle certain tasks.

Some polish brands also recommend re-applying a topcoat every few days to keep your mani sealed. I will admit, I don’t do this very often, but occasionally, if I’m just sitting at my desk, I might quickly apply a topcoat.

So there you have it! My extremely long-winded guide for how to paint your nails at home, and have them still looking great by the end of the week! I commend you if you made it to the end of this!

Have an awesome weekend, and if you try out my guide to painting your nails, let me know how it works out!

Bows and Arrows,

Lynda