Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Winter Nail Routine | Julep

 Hello Charmers! I was invited by Julep to share with you my "winterized" nail routine. I have all the steps written out below, but if you are more of a visual learner, I have a video for you to check out as well! Just keep scrolling down!

If you are unsure of what polishes to wear for the winter season, Julep has some very pretty trending nail polish options!

My Routine

Step 1: File or clip your nails to desired shape and length. I prefer having shorter nails during the winter months because I like to use darker nail polish. Darker polish looks best on shorter nails.

Step 2: Take care of your cuticles. To soften and remove excess cuticle, I like to use the Julep Vanish Cuticle Softener & Remover. It really does soften it up and make it easier to remove unwanted cuticles. I just apply a few drops on each nail bed, then take a cuticle pusher/orange stick to gently push them back.

Step 3: If needed, slightly trim any cuticles and hang nails. Then wash your hands thoroughly with soap.

Step 4: Use a base coat of your choice. I alternate between Orly Bonder and OPI Nail Envy, depending on the condition of my nails. If my nails are very frail and flimsy, I will use OPI Nail Envy, but if my nails are in normal shape, I use Orly Bonder.

Step 5: Paint nails with your choice of color. As I mentioned earlier, I enjoy wearing darker colors during winter months. Below I am wearing Julep Nic, which is a gorgeous black crimson creme polish.

Step 6: Finish your manicure with a top coat to seal in the color. I use Sally Hansen's Mega Shine top coat.

Step 7: Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! It is so important to love on your hands during these drier months. Find a good hand creme and use a cuticle oil to keep your hands and nail tips nourished and hydrated. I alternate between hand cremes, but I love using a cuticle oil as well. I bought my cuticle oil at Sally Beauty Supply.
Hope you enjoyed some of these tips! 
*This post was not sponsored. Everything was bought with my own money. All opinions are my own.*
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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Ulta Brow Expert Light

I recently purchased the Ulta Brow Expert in Light because my Anastasia Beverly Hills powder duo is running out. The Brow Expert retails for $12 and comes in three shades: Light, Medium, and Deep. I did purchase this powder on sale for $5, which is a great price. It comes with two brow powders and a wax. I personally never use the wax as I'm not entirely sure how to use it. 
It also comes with little brushes to use, which is good when traveling, but I don't use them as I have my own brushes I prefer to use.
Before
After
This is a great powder to have on hand when I want my eyebrows to look natural. The powder lasts all day and has great pigmentation. 
Personally, I wouldn't repurchase this powder at $12. I would wait until it is on sale for $5 because although it is a good product, there are other brow powder products that are priced cheaper.
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Monday, December 15, 2014

Urban Decay Naked Basics vs Naked2 Basics

Never thought Urban Decay would do it, but not to long ago, they released a second Basics palette. I was on the fence about checking out Naked2 Basics, but after swatching it in person, I wanted it more. Both Urban Decay palettes retail for $29 and feature six shades that consist of mostly matte shades with one sheen shade.
Top: Naked Basics
Bottom: Naked2 Basics
Both palettes are lovely, but do you really need both? Let me explain to you what I think:
Left: Naked Basics
Right: Naked2 Basics
In the pan, they look fairly similar with not much variety occurring. In Naked Basics, I see warmer shades where as in Naked2 Basics I find more taupey shades.
Top: Naked Basics
Bottom: Naked2 Basics
After swatching them side-by-side, I can clearly see differences. First off, Naked Basics has its focus on lighter shades, and Naked2 Basics focuses on darker shades.
Left: Naked Basics
Right: Naked2 Basics
Although the shades are different, they provide me with the same neutral look. 

Do I think you need both? No, I don't. However, Naked2 Basics palette filled the gap with what I thought the original Naked Basics palette lacked. I enjoy having the lighter colors, but I really wanted more darker shades to apply in the crease and add more definition.
So if you prefer more lighter shades, I would go for Naked Basics. If you prefer having more darker shades, I would go with the Naked2 Basics. If you want to have both worlds, then purchase both palettes! I enjoy having both, because if I want more of a lighter look, I will reach for Naked Basics. But if I want a darker more defined look, I will reach for Naked2 Basics.
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Saturday, December 13, 2014

Too Faced Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar

Hello my Charmers! Today while browsing Sephora, I saw the new Too Faced Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar on display. Technically, its only available on Sephora.com for VIB/VIB Rouge, and will become available to everyone on December 15 and in stores in January, but they had already placed it out. It retails for $49 and comes with 16 matte and shimmer shades.
After observing both the original Chocolate Bar palette and the Semi-Sweet palette, I noticed that the shades from the Semi-Sweet palette seem more neutral and cool toned, whereas the original Chocolate Bar palette had warmer shades. However, the shades from Semi-Sweet appear to be richer and deeper then the original.
Another observation is that the names of the shadows are printed on the packaging. The original Chocolate Bar had it written on a clear plastic insert.
 The palette does have a scent. Although I wouldn't necessarily agree that it smells like true chocolate, it does have a sweet scent and is reminiscent of chocolate.
 Swatches
L-R: Licorice, Coconut Creme, Nougat, Truffled, Hot Fudge
L-R: Cocoa Chili, Pink Sugar, Puddin', Blueberry Swirl, Peanut Butter, Frosting
L-R: Rum Raisin, Mousse, Caramel, Bon Bon, Butter Pecan
 I love chocolate, and this may seem crazy, but this palette does satisfy my craving for chocolate!

Which will you be purchasing? Chocolate Bar or Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar?
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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed | Moonstone

Hello everyone! Today I'm showing you my most favorite highlighter of all times! It is the BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Moonstone. BECCA is well known for their Shimmering Skin Perfectors which are liquids, but they also have pressed powder versions.

Let me give you a bit of a background...I use to hate highlighters. I thought highlighters were too sparkly and glittery. Since I have oily skin, I didn't want to add sparkles to my face to look like a disco ball. There is nothing worse then having chunky glitter on my face. Anyways, after a while, I started noticing that not all highlighters were glittery and sparkly. I purchased Wet 'n Wild Reserve Your Cabana, then got into the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette, which are all beautiful products. I also tried other highlighters as well, but then I saw BECCA Moonstone, and fell in love. 

What Is It:
A creamy powder luminizer that absorbs and reflects light for a superb natural glow.

It can be found at Sephora and Ulta and retails for $38 and is 0.28 ounces. There are five color options:
- Moonstone (pale gold)
- Opal (golden opal pearl)
- Rose Gold (soft gold infused w/ rose tones)
- Topaz (golden bronze pearl)
- Champagne Gold (soft warm gold, limited edition)
The packaging is pretty cool as it looks like a mini spaceship! The bottom half is rubberized, like Nars packaging, and the top half has a stainless steel appearance. Inside there is a mirror and the clasp closes firmly and securely.
 When swatched heavily, like on my finger above, it appears very shiny, but when it is applied to the cheeks, it gives a subtle, radiant glow. What I love about this highlighter is that it feels silky and doesn't give a "BAM" in your face kind of product. It just adds a little something that enhances your beauty.
 Since it is so pigmented, I barely dab my brush in Moonstone. If you apply it on your face heavily, it will emphasize pores and wrinkles. That's why you only apply it slightly.
I definitely think you should test this out if you want a gorgeous, lit from within glow. It is on the pricy side, but given how much you actually use each time, it will last a long time.
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