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Sunday, May 26, 2013

How-To: Easy Citrus Nail Art

 
Hello lovelies! Today I was inspired to create an easy summer nail art look after researching key lime pie recipes (yum). The result was a fun, citrus design that I think is perfect for the upcoming season. If you want to know how I achieved this look, just keep on scrolling... 
 
 
Step 1.) Paint your ring fingers a light blue color, and then follow the chart below to create half moons on the rest of your nails.
 


Left: Position a circular sticker 1/3 to 1/4 of the way up the nail (you can use paper reinforcement rings for this as well, but any small round sticker will do). Then press down the edges to make sure that there are no gaps for the polish to seep through.

Right: Paint one thick coat of the same blue polish above the sticker. Finally, immediately remove the sticker by pulling it towards and away from the polish instead of down. This ensures that your edge will be neat.


Step 2.) Grab two different sizes of dotting tools, yellow polish and green polish, and then follow the chart below:


 Left: With a medium sized dotting tool, make three dots on the edge of the half moon. To add some variety, I decided to alternate green and yellow dots.
 
Right: Use a tiny dotting tool (or a toothpick) to make smaller dots inside the larger ones. Make yellow dots inside the green ones, and vice versa.
 
 
 Step 3.) Adapt your stickers to make a stencil for the ring fingers (pssst! I recommend doing this before you paint your nails):

 
Top: Place one sticker halfway on top of another.
 
Middle: Trace along the edge of the sticker.
 
Bottom: Carefully cut out the traced edge. 
 
 
Step 4.) Place the stencil on top of your ring finger nail so that the bottom third of the nail is exposed. Next, paint on a thick coat of either green or yellow inside the space you created before peeling off the stencil (I used green on one ring finger and yellow on the other). Depending on the opacity of your polish, you may need to carefully paint on a second coat.
 
 
Step 5.) Get out your trusty white striper and follow the chart below to paint on some citrus-y details:
 


Top Row: After your second coat of polish has dried, outline your lemon/lime slice with a white striper. This will give you an opportunity to cover up any mistakes that may have occurred during the application of the second coat.

Bottom Row: Create three slightly curved lines that run parallel to the outline of the lemon/lime. Lastly, complete the wedge sections by painting two lines extending down from the edges of each curved line. Make sure that they all meet at one point near the cuticle.


Step 6.) As always, seal in your nail art with a topcoat for the finishing touch!

Products Used:


 Delia*s "Blue Dream", Illamasqua "Milf", Sally Hansen "Mellow Yellow", Kiss Nail Art Paint in white.


Thanks so much for reading! I hope you give this easy design a try (feel free to post any comments or recreations below!)


Saturday, May 11, 2013

My Top 10 Favorite Beauty Products + Reviews

 
Hi guys! Once again, this week's post is beauty related. I've been trying really hard to grow my nails back out, and they seem to be responding well to the treatment that I've been putting on them, so hopefully more nail tutorials will be up in the next month. For now, I give to you my 10 FAVORITE BEAUTY PRODUCTS OF ALL TIME.
 
Left: Me (looking underslept) wearing some of my favorites: Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer, Stila Petunia Convertible Color, Benefit They're Real! mascara, Mac Quite Natural Paintpot (smudged along the upper and lower lashline), and Revlon Raspberry Pie Lip Butter.

FACE:

MAC Select Moisturecover concealer in NW 15
Price: $18


Left: Mac Moisturecover in NW 15, Right: Swatched and blended out

Before I start reviewing this concealer, it's worth mentioning that I have dry skin, especially around my eyes and nose. That said, I would never in a million years recommend this product to anyone with combination or oily skin- it'll slide around like nobody's business. For my fellow dry skinned people, however, this is amazing. The texture is smooth and velvety and feels very hydrating on the skin. As far as coverage goes, the coverage isn't as full as my Bobbi Brown concealer (see below), but you can build this up easily. My only issue with this product is that it can crease quite a lot, but that's easily fixed by applying a light dusting of powder right after the concealer has had a couple minutes to sink into the skin. Overall, this is a great, buildable undereye concealer!

Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer in Ivory
Price: $23


Yes, this is pricey. Yes, it comes in a little 1.4 g pot. But man... this concealer is actually the best concealer I've ever used. The texture is very creamy (as the name suggests) and sits very naturally on the skin, provided that you use the warmth of your fingers to help it sink in. Like the MAC concealer, I've found that applying powder afterwards is a must, but I expect that from every concealer. Bobbi Brown also has a corrector that can be used alongside the Creamy Concealer, which I also love, but don't consider to be a makeup bag staple.


Stila Convertible Color in Petunia
Price: $25


This is a product that I know has gotten a lot of hype on the internet, and I'm confident saying that it's all very well deserved. On my dry skin, the creamy texture sits really nicely on my cheeks and looks quite fresh and dewy all day. For those with an oilier skin, I would still give this product a go, but be warned that you may have to re-apply as the day goes on. Luckily, the cute mirrored compact makes touching up easy- I keep this blush in my makeup bag even if I don't plan on using it because the mirror is handy. However, try to keep this in a clean container and be extra careful to apply with clean fingers, as I've noticed that little mystery particles like to get stuck in the pan.


Upper swatch: Petunia blended out
Lower swatch: Petunia swatched straight from the pan w/o blending
 
Gorgeous, right? I'd imagine that this is a very universally flattering rosy pink, and know for a fact that it looks great on fair skintones- I'm extremely pale and this livens up my skin like no other. Finally, I know that the Convertible Colors are marketed as a 2 in 1 blush/lipstick, but I haven't tried putting this on my lips because I have many lip products that I need to use up.   
 
 
EYES
 
Arbonne eye shadow in Vanilla
Price: $19 

 
Basically my go-to all over lid shade. Since I'm so fair, I find that this light matte vanilla color neutralizes any discoloration on my eyelids and brightens up the entire eye area without looking like I'm wearing much makeup at all. It's also my opinion that everyone should have a matte cream color in their makeup collection- this one just happens to be smooth, luxurious, and awesome. The only downside to this shadow is that Arbonne is a bit hard to find- you have to either find an Arbonne consultant or order online (like Avon). However, it's a great brand for those of you who try to use only vegan products.

 
Benefit They're Real! mascara
Price: Mini: $10, Full-sized: $23


 
Okay, so I've never been a proponent of high-end mascaras- I never really saw the point of spending 20 + bucks on something that you're meant to throw out after 3-6 months. However, I received a sample size of Benefit's They're Real! mascara in February as my Sephora birthday gift and have been loving it ever since. The brush has rubber bristles of varying sizes and a cluster of bristles that form a dome on top. My only problem with the brush is that the top dome attracts clumps of mascara, but that's easily fixed by wiping some of the product off before application. The consistency of the mascara is nice as well- not too wet but not too dry.

Overall, this mascara is a triple threat: it builds great volume, excellent length, and doesn't smear throughout the day. I may even go and purchase the full sized tube...

Pixi Eye Bright Liner
Price: $17 at Target


 
For the past 8 months or so, this has been the one product that I use without fail every time I wear makeup. This flesh toned eyeliner is meant to be worn on the lower waterline in order to cancel out redness and brighten up the eyes, and it seriously works. The formulation of this liner is smooth and easy to apply (no tugging involved), and in my experience lasts for an average of 4-5 hours without fading.  
Left: Twisted up, Right: Swatched.
 
As you can see from the swatch, the color of the liner is a nice bright flesh tone. On the waterline it looks very natural, and very subtley makes you look wide awake.
 
 
MAC Paint Pot in Quite Natural
Price: $18.50


 
Ahhh nostalgia- the Quite Natural Paint Pot was my first purchase from MAC, and I remember debating whether or not to buy it after seeing Sam from pixiwoo (one of my favorite YouTube channels) use it in a makeup tutorial. Well, I obviously did, and thus began my love of MAC. Stories aside, this is a lovely warm midtone brown cream eyeshadow that can be worn as a base for powder shadows or on its own (the staying power is amazing!).
 

Left: My well loved pot of Quite Natural, Right: Swatched and blended out (excuse my veiny forearm).
 
A lot of people complain that these are a bit difficult to blend, but I find that as long as you use your ring finger instead of a brush (the warmth of your finger will make the consistency creamier), the product blends nicely across the eyelid. One caviat is that you do have to work quickly- these shadows set quite fast, so I recommend applying and blending one eye at a time. As you can see from the picture above, my Quite Natural has started to separate from the edges of the jar, which I kind of expected- I went through a phase where I used this EVERY DAY for 5 months, and that much exposure to air can dry out the product. However, popping this in the microwave for 5 seconds before application (remember to remove the plastic cap!) revives the consistency.  
 
 
LIPS
 
Revlon Lip Butter in Raspberry Pie 
Price: $7.50 at drugstores, but these are frequently on BOGO 50% off sales 

Left: Raspberry Pie in the bullet, Right: Swatched
 
This is a relatively new purchase for me, but in the 6 weeks that I've had Raspberry Pie, it's beyond a shadow of a doubt been my go-to bright lip color (well, as bright as I feel comfortable going). I love that this shade isn't neon bright, but is still vivid enough to look modern and Spring-y. Also, I'd imagine that saturated, midtone berry shades like this would flatter most or even all skin tones. Lastly, Raspberry Pie is as creamy and moisturizing as the other Lip Butters, despite the opacity of the color. 
 
Revlon Color Stay Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Honey
Price: $9 at drugstores
 

Yes, another Revlon lip product- in my opinion, Revlon is by far the best drugstore brand when it comes to lips. Anyway, I feel like everyone needs a good your-lips-but-better product in their makeup bag, and this is mine. My lips are naturally very pigmented, so this rosy color is perfect for emphasizing their natural color while adding subtle definition and shine. The Just Bitten Balm Stains are very moisturizing, but they tend to be on the sheer side, so don't expect killer color payoff from these. As far as their staining properties go, I do find that these leave behind a nice stain after they've had time to sink into the lips. Thankfully, the stain is consistent across the lips and doesn't concentrate towards the edges like an awkward ring of lipliner.
 
Left: Twisted up a bit in the tube, Right: Swatched


Smith's Rosebud Salve
Price: $6 in the Sephora checkout line
 

 
Everyone needs a good lip balm that moisturizes, smells nice, and feels comfortable on the lips. This little tin of lip elixir checks all of those boxes and looks pretty on your countertop/bedside table.
 

 
Despite appearing pink in the tin, little to no tint appears on the lips when applied, just fyi. Personally, that's a bonus as far as I'm concerned because a lack of tint makes using this balm ideal for a pre-lipstick base. Once my tin is finished, I intend to splurge on the Dior Creme de Rose, but for now, Smith's Rosebud Salve is my go-to lip balm.
 
Aaaand that concludes my top 10 beauty products of all time! I hope you've found this helpful, and feel free to leave a comment telling me which products you love (I'm always curious to hear other peoples' opinions!)
 
Thanks for reading!