Confession Time

I have a confession…I hate nail salons.  Now, let me first clarify something. I LOVE having my nails done, and pretty much always have them painted.  What I don’t like is having them done in a salon.  I find the whole process extremely stressful and it makes me anxious every time.  And don’t even get me started on pedicures.  YUCK!  I’ve never had a relaxing pedicure in my life.  They always hurt, my feet are too ticklish, and I feel like the people are making fun of my feet.  I know, I have some issues.  My lightbulb moment came when Matt decided to treat me to mani/pedi and I came home in a worse mood than when I went, and I redid my fingernails that night to suit me.  Ok, so I may have some control issues as well.  But that’s another post.

So, because I love my nails being “done”, and I hate the salon, the natural solution was to arm myself with the tools and skills to do them myself at home.  So that’s what I’ve done.  I have a great collection of polishes from every brand and price point, a really good manicure set with tools, etc.  But I really wanted those super shiny, two-week long gel nails you get at the salon.  Enter…the at-home UV Gel Nail system.  Hallelujah!  I purchased this little gem about a year ago, and since that time it’s paid for itself multiple times.  I love this thing.  No, seriously, I love it.  I purchased the starter kit at my local Walmart for about $50.  That was all I needed to get started.  It’s so easy to do at home, and you really do get the same results you get from a salon.

The brand I have is Sensationail, but there are many different ones.  Living in a town where we only have a Walmart and a Walgreens I’m pretty limited unlesss I order online.  Honestly, though, this one fits my needs fine, and I can get polish from either place or Sally’s Beauty if I want the Gelish brand.  As long as you use the UV polish you can use whatever brand you like.

The other day my Mom asked me if I would do her nails because she didn’t want to go to the salon.  Like Mother like Daughter.  So I said sure, come on over!  Now, I have never done anyone else’s nails, just mine, so I was a little nervous about getting the polish smooth and nice.  They turned out great!  She loved them too, which is the important part.  Here are some photos of during and after:

Thanks for being my first customer Mom!

Ah, confession is good for the soul!  And so is an awesome manicure 😉

My Travel Makeup Bag

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This weekend we’re heading to The Bahamas for a Spring break cruise.  Typically, the only time I put on a full face of makeup is for dinner each night.  During the day we are in and out of the pool, ocean, and wind.  For daytime I’m very low maintenance with an SPF moisturizer, concealer, waterproof mascara, and some tinted lip balm.  Below is a list of the products I love to travel with, that are warm-weather friendly.

Paula’s Choice Resist Super-Light Wrinkle Defense SPF 30 –  This is my everyday moisturizer.  It’s light, matte, and barely tinted.  The tint is just enough to take away the white cast from the sunscreen.  I use this every morning under my foundation or alone for days I don’t want a base.

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum – I really like this foundation for Spring/Summer.  It’s light but gives good coverage for evening out skin tone.  You can apply it with a brush, sponge, or fingers.  During the day I don’t wear foundation at all, but for dinner and getting a little more dressed up this is what I take.

L’oreal Magic Lumi Primer –  I just started using this primer and I really like it!  I heard that’s it’s a dupe for the Becca liquid primers.  I’ve never used the Becca primers but I have to say I really like this one.  I will put a pump of my Bourjois base on the back of my hand and add about half a pump of Lumi primer.  I mix those together and apply with whatever tool I’m feeling that day, usually a sponge.  I love the way it gives my skin a slightly luminous glow and sheers out the base even more.  It’s the perfect “beach” look.

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser – This is my absolute favorite concealer.  It’s so easy and convenient.  I go between the Brightener shade and the Fair.  Right now I have the fair for Spring/Summer.  On ship days I will just put some of this under my eyes, around my nose, and the middle of my face….blend it out and I’m good to go.

Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer – I bought this bronzer at the recommendation of AshleyTIA (one of my favorite YouTuber’s).  I’m in LOVE!  I can’t even tell you how good it smells.  It smells like buttery coconut goodness.  Once it’s on the face the smell disappears, but the color is also amazing.  I have the light shade and it’s so nice.  I apply it with a fluffy blush brush (Real Techniques).  I can build up the color if I want or just have a light bronze.

NYX Cream Blush in Glow – I have a love hate relationship with cream blush.  I typically pull it out in the summer just because it goes so well with a dewy base.  This is my favorite creamy blush for several reasons.  Of course the affordability is a huge plus.  This blush will set you back $7, and even cheaper if you catch a NYX sale at Ulta!  You get a ton of product and it comes in gorgeous colors.  My favorite thing about this product is way it blends out and wears on the cheeks.  I use my Real Techniques Stipple brush to apply and it blends in beautifully and lasts all day.

Sephora Eyebrow Editor Kit – I got this kit for Christmas and when I ran out of my NYX Micro Brow pencil I decided to use this before buying another brow product.  I really like this little kit.  It’s small, compact and perfect for travel.  I mix the colors in the kit and creates a really nice color for me.

Maybelline Bad to the Bronze Cream Shadow – This is my ride or die cream shadow.  I’ve posted about it before so I won’t go on too much about it now.  It’s just the perfect bronze color, doesn’t crease, and will look exactly the same at the end of the day.  This is the only shadow I take on vacation.

L’oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Waterproof Mascara – I’ve been using this mascara for years.  It’s a great affordable option and you can get it in waterproof or not.

Burt’s Bees Lip Balm – I usually take several lip options on vacation, but this is the one I always have in my bag.  It’s moisturizing and gives just a bit of color.  I have it in three shades, nut Pink Blossom is the one I reach for the most in the Spring.

Bobbi Brown Beach – Even though this isn’t a makeup item I still wanted to include it.  I have to admit I don’t own a ton of fragrances.  I’m very sensitive to smells so I only own maybe four different ones.  Beach is the only scent I wear in the summer.  It smells like…well, the beach!  The best way to describe it is if you took the most delicious smelling sunscreen and made it into a perfume.  It’s like summer in a bottle.  One tip I have for fragrance is to purchase rollerballs!  They’re so much cheaper and they’re great for travel or to throw in your handbag.  Sephora has a great selection of them.

I hope this was helpful to those who are traveling over Spring break or Summer vacation!   What are your go-to travel beauty items?

 

That’s for reading!

JYW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WalMart Beauty Box – Spring

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I’ve been getting the WalMart Beauty Box for about a year now.  Unlike a lot of subscription boxes that come monthly, this box comes every three months.  You get one in the Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter.  The price of the box is $5 including shipping, which I think is a good deal since you typically get at least $3 in coupons in each box.

Since I live in a VERY rural area, the only makeup readily available to me is drugstore.  I order all my higher end makeup online or wait until I get near an Ulta or Sephora to go nuts 🙂  So I really like that I can try some less expensive skincare/bodycare/makeup for $5.  If this box is something that interests you, hear is a link to sign up for your own Walmart Beauty Box.

This month was obviously the Spring box, and I have to say, I think this was one of the best ones.  There is a ton of stuff in here!  Let’s start off with the card samples and coupons:

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The first coupon at the top left (going clockwise), is a $1 off any Loreal True Match product.  I really like the True Match powder’s so I’ll probably use this.  One the back of the card there is a shade chart that looks really neat as well.

Next, is a Neutrogena coupon for $1 off any Acne product in their range.  This card also has a sample of the new Acne Correct and Cover Moisturizer.  It looks like a tinted moisturizer, so I’ll definitely give it a try.

Next, is sample of the Loreal Glow Renewal Facial Oil.  It says to use morning and night to restore a healthy glow to the skin.  Interesting.  I like facial oils and I don’t have one in my rotation right now.

There is a Vera Wang Embrace toilette spray sample.  Have to be honest…this is not my favorite scent.  However, I really love getting the spray perfume samples.  They’re great for travel!

The last card sample is the one I’m most excited about!  It’s the Burt’s Bees BB Cream in Light/Med.  I luuuuve Burt’s Bees products and I’ve been wanting to try this.  I’m pretty sure every Walmart box I’ve gotten has had a Burt’s Bees product in it, which makes me super happy.

Now let’s look at the bigger samples that were included:

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Starting at the top, we have a Neutrogena MoistureSmooth color stick.  I am so excited about this item!  It’s a great size sample (just a little smaller than the full size), and the color (110 Almond Nude) is fantastic.  I will definitely be getting some use out of this.

Next is the Curel Itch Defense Body Wash.  I have used Curel products in the past, but not this particular one.  It’s formulated for dry skin, so I think my husband will like it.  The sample is 1 oz which is perfect for travel.

Jergens Natural Glow in fair to medium, a 2 oz size is the next sample.  Again, this is great for travel.  I’ve used several bottles of this stuff over the years.  I love the way it gives my skin a natural looking tan without having to worry about streaking.

The Colgate Optic White toothpaste is a huge tube for a “sample”.  Colgate is a brand that we use often in our house.  The tube is 1.45 oz, which again, is great for travel for a family of three.

John Frieda Brilliant Brunette shampoo in a 2 oz bottle.  I’m really excited to try this!  I only wash my hair 2-3 a week so I like to use a really good shampoo on those days.  I haven’t tried this one but I think the idea that’s it’s made for brunette’s (which I am).

This is the one I’m least excited about.  It’s the CeraVe Healing Ointment.  I’m not really sure when or why i would use this.  Maybe on a scrape or bruise…It’s a really thick consistency like a balm.  I know CeraVe products are typically pricey for drugstore so I’ll keep it in my drawer just in case.

The last one is the Biore Baking Soda Pore Cleanser.  I love Biore strips for blackheads and I keep those in my beauty drawer all the time.  I’ve never tried one of their cleansers so I’m pretty stoked about this sample.  It’s 1 oz, so it’s large enough to try it multiple times to really get a good idea of the results.

 

Well, that’s it for my Spring Walmart Beauty Box.  I’m really happy with this box for $5!  The lip product and toothpaste are worth that just by themselves.  What do you guys think?  Do you like the drugstore boxes?  Have you tried any of these products?

Thanks for reading!

~JYW

Top 5 Spring Nail Polishes

1. Grenadine                   2.LadyLike                 3.NailsInc    

 

                    4.AmpleApple             5.MintCandyApple

 

Nail polish is one of my favorite beauty items.  In the Spring I love getting out my pastels and lighter colors.  Even though have more than 5 colors I like to rotate between, the 5 mentioned here are my most worn in the Spring.  So let’s review shall we?

  1.  Essie’s Splash of Grenadine – This is my #1 Spring color.  It’s the perfect shade of pink/lavender for fingers.  Every time I wear this shade I get compliments.  Plus, the formula of this one is great.  I do two coats and it takes a few days before it ships.
  2. Essie’s Lady Like – This color is so sophisticated and just…pretty.  The actual color is hard to describe.  It’s a definitely a neutral.  I would say a cross between grey, taupe, and lilac.  Trust me, you need to try it.  If I have a meeting and want a nice looking mani, this is the one I reach for.  Plus, it’s such a light color that chips aren’t noticeable.
  3. Nails Inc Porchester Square – I do love a good grey, and this one is the best.  It’s light enough to be flattering and Spring-y, but dark enough to be noticeable.  I have the Gel formula and I really like it.  I haven’t tried the original to be able to compare, but I know it has rave reviews also.  I think this is a great transition color from Winter to Spring.  Wear time is a typical 3-4 days for me with a base and top coat.
  4. Covergirl XL Gel in Ample Apple – The red’s are probably my all time favorite nail color family.  If I want a red nail in the Spring/Summer this is the one I reach for.  Ample Apple is a very bright, summery red.  I love it on my toes and fingers!  The gel formula is super thick, so you can get away with one coat of this one, which always a plus!
  5. Essie’s Mint Candy Apple – This is probably the most daring of the bunch.  Mint Candy Apple is one of the more well known Essie colors, and for good reason.  The mint color is super bright and opaque.  If I want a fun weekend color, this is the one.  I always get compliments on this one and I feel like it’s very flattering on my hands.  The only complaint is that the formula is a little hard to apply.  You’ll definitely need to coats to eliminate streaks, but the end result is super cute!

That’s my top 5 nail polishes for Spring.  I hope the reviews were helpful and maybe you’re inspired to try a new color!

What are your go-to Spring colors?

Thanks for reading!

~JYW

Spring Makeup Routine

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Spring has always been one of my favorite seasons.  After a long, cold, dreary winter, I love the sight of flowers blooming and sun shining!

I also love being able to put away my lighter colored foundations (for my pasty skin), and move to a slightly darker color.  I love the pastel pink blushes and light glossy lips that replace the darker colors in my makeup bag.  It seems that every Spring, no matter what new products have launched, I always pull out some old staples.  This Spring I’ve added a couple new things to the bunch, and I’m really loving the everyday light Spring-y look I’m getting.

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation – I’ve heard about this foundation for years from my UK beauty bloggers.  I ordered mine from Amazon and it literally took a month to get here from the UK!  But it was worth the wait.  I love the way it looks, feels, smells…basically everything about it.  It’s a light/medium coverage but is buildable.  I would love to try more Bourjois products.

One tool that I couldn’t live without in the Spring/Summer is the Beauty Blender.  I just got a new one last week.  I decided to get the Pro (black one).  I bought mine from Birchbox and used my points, which made it $10!  I’m pretty sure the only difference between the original and the pro is the color.  If you struggle with blending foundation or want a more sheer/natural look, this is your tool.  I use it for foundation, concealer, blush, contour, etc.  Basically any cream product.

Rimmel Stay Matte Powder in Transparent – I love this powder.  I use it all year and have repurchased it many times.  It doesn’t look cakey, it keeps me from getting oily, and it’s so cheap!  I keep saying when I run out of it I’m going to try something new, but I never do.

Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso – When I started really getting into makeup and reading beauty blogs, this blush was everywhere.  I know why.  It is gorgeous!  I literally wore this blush every day from April-August last year and this year won’t be any different.  It gives the most beautiful color and glow to the cheeks.  If I lost this blush I would go buy another one immediately.

Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze –   “They” say the real test of a product is whether you would repurchase it or not.  Well, I’m on my THIRD pot of this cream eyeshadow.  The color is just the perfect bronze.  I use the shadow literally every day.  I use my ring finger to apply to the lid and then blend it out with a clean finger.  I also smudge some along the lower lash line.

For lips, I love a good tinted balm for Spring/Summer.  One of my favorites is the Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balms.  I have several colors, but my go-to for Spring is Pink Blossom.  It gives just the right amount of natural pink color with tons of moisture.

I’m testing out some new mascara and bronzer right now, so I’m leaving those out of this post.  I think the mascara I’m using right now could become my HG!  A future post on that to come…

What are your favorite Spring products?

A Week with No Foundation

IMG_3626One of the things I want to focus on in 2016 is taking better care of my skin, with the ultimate goal being able to go without foundation and feel confident in the way my skin looks.  I assumed this would take a while.

In December I completely changed my skincare products and routine.  I’ve been using Paula’s Choice products exclusively for the past two months, and my skin has totally changed.  So much so, that I decided to go without foundation this week!  And guess what?  I’ve actually had more compliments on my skin that I have ever had when using a foundation.  I love the way my complexion looks without the extra layer of coverage.  Granted, you can definitely see more freckles and spots (which I’m working on), but I’m ok with that.

I’ve seen a YouTube tag called “The 5 Product Face”, and that got me thinking…if I eliminated the base, what 5 products would I use on the daily?  So, here what I’ve been using every day this week and I absolutely love the way it turns out.

  1. The first thing I do every morning is my PC routine.  Cleanse, tone, exfoliate, treat, moisturize (with SPF).
  2. Next I use my Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser in the Brightener shade under my eyes, around the bottom of my nose, the bridge of my nose and between my eyes.  I have a birthmark between my eyes that is kind of a purple color (almost looks like a bruise).  This just tones it down a bit.  I blend all of that in with my damp Beauty Blender.
  3. I use a light dusting of my Rimmel Stay-Matte Powder in Transparent all over the face.  I use my Elf Complexion Brush for this.
  4. For a little color on the cheeks I use my Real Techniques blush brush and put some of the Maybelline Master Hi-Light Blush in Nude on my cheek bones, and then to the apples of my cheeks I use the ELF blush brush and add some Hourglass Ambient Lighting blush in Luminous Flush.  This gives such a pretty flush of color and highlight all in one.
  5. Next I shape up my brows with my Nyx Mico-Brow pencil in Taupe.  This pencil is amazing and it’s so cheap!  I always do my brows.  Always.
  6. Now for the eyes.  I put a sweep of Maybelline Color Tattoo cream shadow in Bad to the Bronze across my lids and take a bit along my lower lash line with small accent brush.  Then I curl my lashes and add some mascara.  Right now I’m using L’oreal Voluminous.
  7. Lips of course are last, and my favorite part.  Most days I use my MAC Fast Play and top it with Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in 01 Rose Shimmer

IMG_3623I really love the way this looks for everyday and casual weekends.  For going out I would probably still wear a light coverage foundation just to even it all out a little more.  I’m including a picture, and please don’t judge my selfie skills 😉

 

Current Favorites – The Nudes

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Top Clockwise: Urban Decay Naked 2 Basics, Maybelline Master Hi-Light Powdered Blush in Nude, MAC Fast Play, Nails INC Gel Effect Porchester Square, Elf Flawless Finish Foundation Porcelain

I struggle with finding anything “nude” that doesn’t make me look dead or worse.  My skin is so fair that most of the products labeled Nude just don’t work.  I finally realized that my “nude” is just not the same as the gorgeous nudes I see on tanned celebrities.

FYI – I hate the sun and had much rather have nice skin than a tan…but I digress.

It has taken me a very long time to amass some nude products that I really love and that look good on me.  Just in case there are some pasty ladies out there reading this, here are some good ones!

  1.  Urban Decay Naked 2 Basics – I have owned the UD Basics for a couple years and used 2-3 of the shades almost every day for crease and highlight.  This Christmas my MIL got me the Naked 2 Basics, and I love it!  The colors in this one suite me so much better since they are cooler toned.  I’ve used it every day since December 25.
  2. Maybelline Master Hi-Light Powdered Blush in Nude – This is a blush that I purchased a long time ago, used a couple times, and put in the drawer.  I was recently clearing out some old makeup and pulled this one back out.  I’m so glad I did!  There are times that I really need a punch of color on the cheeks.  But most days I like a subtle blush color with a little highlighter.  This product is perfect for that.  It gives a very natural color with a touch of “something extra”.  Great multi-use product.
  3. MAC Fast Play –  Nude lipsticks are the hardest thing for me find.  My nude lippies need to have a little pink and little brown.  Fast Play is the perfect one!  I have several MAC lipstick and the Amplified formula is my favorite.  I’m not a fan of Mattes (gasp!) because they are far too dry for my already dry lips.  The struggle is real girls!  MAC describes this as a Neutral Pink and they’re right.  This color is my go-to everyday lipstick that’s always in my bag.  Which reminds me I need to order a backup…
  4. Nail Inc Gel Effect Porchester Square – This is my favorite favorite…you know what I mean.  I am a nail polish junkie.  No really, I have a problem.  I am always on the search for the perfect polish.  I purchased this about a week before Christmas with a Sephora.com order.  I have polished my nails with this color for 3 polish changes in a row, and that’s a huge deal.  It’s just so dang perfect!  The brush is amazing, the formula is smooth, and the color is just grey perfection.  It makes my hands look so nice.  Plus it wears great.  I can get about 5 days out of an application before I see chips.  I really want to try Baker Street in this formula.
  5. Elf Flawless Finish Foundation – I am a huge fan of drugstore foundations.  Over the years I’ve had better luck with them than higher end ones.  I was doing some research on Beautypedia for a new light/medium coverage base and this one had great reviews.  At only $6 I decided to try it.  I absolutely love this stuff!  I apply it with a damp beauty blender and it goes on so smooth and even.  It lasts all day and looks just like my skin, but better.  This is not a full coverage foundation, but that’s not what I was after.  You could definitely build it up be a solid medium coverage though.

Thanks beauty’s and have an awesome day!