What’s your favorite Valentine’s Day manicure look? Are you sporting one this year?
Since I’ve just spent the better part of my day wrapping presents and decorating our Christmas tree with my husband, I’m pretty much full-on in the holiday spirit. And now that we are less than three weeks out from the big holiday, I thought I’d share my holiday wish list as a sort of holiday gift guide for all the beauty fiends on your list. A word of caution – you’ll probably want to pick a few of these items up for yourself, as well!
1. Birchbox Subscription: This is the number one beauty gift on my list because, as a former Birchbox subscriber, I know how much I loved it! In case you have not yet heard of (or subscribed to) Birchbox, this beauty subscription service delivers a box of personalized deluxe beauty samples to your house for $10 per month. Sometimes the samples are a small – think a packet or two of shampoo – but more often than not there’s a full sized nail polish or lipstick in your collection, and I’ve found many new favorites through this service. 3, 6 and 12 month gift subscriptions are available.
2. Fresh Sugar Ruby Romance Gift Set: This is the perfect gift for the gloss and balm lover in your life. Fresh Sugar lip balms are the best of the best, and I’m loving the ruby red shade for winter. Also, I’m dying to try that gloss.
3. Bliss Triple Oxygen Facial in a Box: Who doesn’t love a good spa day? The idea of being able to give yourself a Bliss Spa-quality facial in the comfort of your own bathroom is so tempting, and with a $12 price tag, how can you pass it up?
4. Osmia Organics Honey-Myrrh Lip Repair: For all the green beauties on your list, what could be better than the gift of all-natural lip balm in beautiful packaging? I love Osmia Organics products, and if this jar of balm is as effective as their Best Lip Balm, I need it in my life.
5. Osmia Organics Lavender Shea Soap: I really love a good, smooth bar of soap, and lavender is my favorite scent. Plus, Osmia soaps are so beautiful, you basically don’t even need to wrap them.
6. The Ciate Daily: A set of seven killer nail polishes in an adorable newspaper-inspired makeup bag? You bet this makes my list!
7. Victoria’s Secret VS Stripe Train Case: I really love train cases for stashing makeup, and I’ve always been a sucker for the pink and white stripes. Why not get the girlie girl on you list one of these? Better yet, why not fill it with the other goodies on this list and really make her Christmas?
What are you hoping to find under the tree this year?
I received this cool shimmery dark green polish – RUFFIAN Nail Lacquer in Hedge Fund – in a Birchbox last year. I was intrigued but intimidated. That is, until I swiped the impossibly easy to apply polish on my nails and realized how much I love it. The color is super saturated, so one coat completely covers each nail, and the oddly shaped cap actually makes the brush incredibly easy to hold and maneuver. It dried quickly and I really cannot get enough of this color.
Looking for something similar with less of a camo-flavor? Might I suggest Endless Love, a beautiful shimmery purple in the RUFFIAN collection. I’m pretty sure it’s the loveliest nail color I’ve ever seen, which is why it is at the very top of my must-buy list.
What shades are you loving this season?
Last week I asked some friends for help. It appears that after nearly eight full months of not shopping for new products, of using up samples and my stockpile of shampoo and body lotion, I’ve run out of things to write about. I’m sure I haven’t really run out of things, but for the past couple of weeks, I’ve felt quite uninspired. Which is why I asked for help. And after sending out my blog post SOS, one of my friends came through with an awesome product that I’m now going to share with you!
Sephora Instant Nail Polish Remover comes in a cool little round bottle and is so incredibly effective, it does seem like magic. The bottle is lined with remover-soaked foam; to remove polish, you simply dip your finger in the middle and give it a little twist. Two seconds later, your polish is completely removed. It’s amazing! The remover is also free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, GMOs and triclosan, and does not smell like nail polish remover. If you ever paint your nails, this is a must-have for your makeup bag. I’ll be buying it as soon as I use up my current bottle of remover.
The problem, of course, is that opaque white nail color can look dangerously close to correction fluid. I, for one, was not a fan of the white-out manicure in high school and I certainly don’t like it now. So how can we enjoy a fresh white(ish) nail look without looking like angsty teens?
My pick is Sephora Formula X Nail Color in Thrilling, part of the “New Neutrals” line of Formula X polishes. It’s an extremely pale opaque gray with slight purplish undertones. It’ll definitely set off a tan, and with a color this pretty, there’s no danger it’ll be mistaken for an office supply.
Of course my number one priority is sunscreen, and since my husband and I are both paler than pale and burn easily, I’m packing SPF 70. However, that does not mean that I wish to look pasty white throughout my trip. Enter my newest obsession, St. Tropez One Night Only Instant Glow Body Lotion.This smooth lotion looks scary dark and bronzy in the tube, but is easily rubbed into skin to create a warm, surprisingly natural glow. Once dry it does not rub off on clothing (or sheets), and it smells warm and summery. It makes skin feel ultra-smooth, and washes off easily with soap and water.
I’ll also be wanting smooth, unburned lips during my trip, so I’ll be sure to pack a tube of Carmex Moisturizing Lip Balm in Lime Twist, an SPF 15 balm that is ridiculously silky, long-lasting, and has a refreshing, tingly feeling.
And since I’ll be busting out my sandals for the first time since last summer, I’ll need a punchy pedicure. Right now I’m loving Nailtini Lacquer in Mai Tai, a fun red-orange that looks great on pale skin or with a tan.
I’ll stay pretty bare-faced while out in the sun, sticking to my favorite BB cream and my Carmex during the day, but at night, I’ll kick things up a notch. BareMinerals Mineral Veil will even my complexion and keep any unwanted shine at bay. I’ll swipe on my favorite summertime lip color, Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment in Coral, and a festive evening eyeliner, NARS Glitter Pencil in Le Sept, a sparkly dark purple. Naturally, I’ll finish it all off with curled lashes and my favorite vampy mascara, Eyeko Black Magic Mascara.
What are your vacation beauty favorites?
In my neck of the woods spring has been taking its sweet time arriving this year; as I’m writing this I’m gazing out my window at stubborn banks of snow that at this rate may still be here in June. As a result, lately I find myself reaching for the happiest, most optimistic shade in my makeup bag: pink. The good news? Pink is a pretty universally flattering shade and it’s big for spring. If Mother Nature doesn’t want to brighten things up outside, I’ll do it on my own! Here are the pink products I’m sporting this season:
Eyes: When I read in Allure Magazine that pink eyeshadow was a big trend for spring, I nearly jumped for joy. I’ve discovered the prettiest pale pink shadow; so pretty, in fact, that I chose it as my eye color for my wedding day last September! If you’re searching for a nice soft shadow that can be toned up or down, try Sephora Collection Colorful Eyeshadow Shimmer in Sweet Candy. Bonus points for using a pink applicator, too (I bought a pack of these at Sally Beauty Supply).
Lips: I’m guessing exactly no one will be surprised to learn that Maybelline Baby Lips in Pink Punch has made it into my spring lip look rotation. I’ve been alternating between that old favorite and another one – Jouer Lip Gloss in Birchbox Pink. It’s a great hot pink shade that goes on sheer but can be layered for more color.
Nails: While I have an abundance of pink polishes in a variety of shades, right now I’m obsessed with Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Nail Polish in Anime (note: the brand’s matching lip tar is a great hot pink lip color if you’re wanting something bold!). A word of caution: a manicure this bright needs to be impeccable. Mine lasted 3 days before it started chipping, so be vigilant with the top coat!
Extra Credit: When that manicure does start to chip, why not remove it with something equally cheery? Beauty Secrets Acetone Nail Polish Remover is the gold (or pink) standard in removing stubborn polish. Similarly, I can’t do without my MAKE Dual-Phase Eye Makeup Remover. It never bothers my sensitive eyes and gets every last bit of makeup off my eyes, waterproof or otherwise.