Blue Eyes

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I’d been feeling very blah about my nails the past month or so. I’d let them chip and fall into disrepair, go days and days with naked nails where before I was switching colors every few days and just generally didn’t care, but then I remembered this slideshow on Refinery29 awhile back and I suddenly needed to not just paint them, but freehand little circles and dots as well. This was my end result.

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Zoya in Kristen // Chanel in Quartz // Zoya in Raven

I don’t know what colors they used for the mood ring spread, so I used what I had that was similar.

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blueeyesnails3I didn’t photography my right hand because it didn’t turn out as nice and because I had to hold the camera, but it actually didn’t come out half bad. They just look like little spooky blue irises to me. From a distance Mark thinks it looks like I have little holes in my fingernails which is terrifying to imagine, but I like creepy stuff so I’m also kind of okay with it.

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L’Oréal Colour Riche Extraordinary Lip Color in Coral Encore

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L’Oréal Colour Riche Extraordinary Lip Color in Coral Encore

I was lucky enough to be chosen for an Allure survey to try out L’Oréal Colour Riche Extraordinary Lip Color (what a mouthful). They sent me a tube in Coral Encore, and I’m really pleased with it. The packaging is really nice and makes me feel a bit fancier than I really am. The doefoot applicator makes putting it on easy, and the formula is opaque and glossy without being sticky and gloopy. It also has a faint fruity smell, no if you don’t have an aversion/sensitivity to scents it’s a plus!

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The pros are that the color selection is very broad, the formula is saturated so it only takes a swipe or so, and it lasts a couple of hours (if you don’t eat a lot with it on – that’s a downside). The cons are that it does have very fine bits of glitter that are more apparent once it’s worn off and it doesn’t leave much of a stain. There’s no dreaded ring of color around the lip line, but if you don’t have a chance to reapply you’ll be without gloss after an hour or two.

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I got so tired of trying to take serious photos of the color, so have a smoldering outtake with my unfilled brows for your trouble.

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Sally Hansen Dries Instantly Top Coat

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Ahhh don’t look at my cuticles. They are in a constant stay of crustiness and I can’t get my act together.

Colors used: Revlon’s Marmalade & Ruffian’s Fox Hunt on accent nail

I’ve been looking for a cheaper top coat that can hold its own against Seche Vite because even though I love it, Seche Vite is $$$ and it tends to get thick before I use it all up, and that’s saying something because I paint my nails constantly so it’s not like these bottles are old!

My first tries were the super cheapies like Wet N Wild and Essence top coats, and no matter how fast they claimed to dry or how shiny they’d make my nails, they all fell short. A lot of them were dull after a day or would get sheet marks even if I painted my nails 4-5 hours before going to bed. A lot of them got bubbles, and I was getting frustrated because I felt like I’d paid as much or more to try these cheaper brands as I would have for one bottle of Seche Vite.

Finally I picked up this Sally Hansen Dries Instantly Top Coat (I’ve also seen it called 30 Second Top Coat) and I’m sold. It’s only $5-6 bucks at Walgreens, CVS, Ulta, etc. (without a coupon) and it’s performed wonderfully. The photos above are a full five days after I painted them, and I haven’t even reapplied the top coat. They are still shining like the first day and I haven’t had a SINGLE chip. Maybe that’s just luck, but I type all day at work and I’m a notoriously bad nail polish picker, so no cracks means I have nothing to pick at!

And it did dry fast! I’m always too nervous to touch it right away, but it was dry at least a minute after. I didn’t do much with my hands for a good while after out of an abundance of caution. I waited till the nail color was completely dry before I applied the top coat (which is hard because I am not patient when it comes to nail polish) and ta-dah!

I’m won over for sure, so if you’re in the market for a new fast-drying top coat, this is my first choice for a cheaper alternative to Seche Vite.

P.S. I use the Sally Hansen Salon Manicure Cuticle Eraser & Balm for my cuticles right now, but I’m just not seeing the results I want. Any suggestions?

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Bunny Foo Foo: Little Purses for Little Things

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ASOS Quilt Cross Body Bag With Rabbit Ears

My main purse (seen here) can sometimes feel like a bottomless pit of stuff. At any time I have at least (at least!) five lipsticks, a smaller bag with a nail file, hand cream, floss, etc., my wallet, a facial mist, my keys – it’s just ridiculous but really I use it all enough to justify keeping it. Then there are days where I know all I’ll need is the bare essentials, and this bunny bag is an even better reason to have more days like that. I like the idea of really boiling down what you want and just heading out.

On a day I carry this little beaut, I’ll bring my phone, id and debit card (not pictured), mirror compact, lip balm, sunglasses and some aspirin (in the little flower case). I leave room for car keys and maybe one extra, like blotting linens or a facial mist if it’s hot, but that’s it! Having other bits is nice if you can take them, but more and more I’ve been tossing the basics in here and going about my business. It’s a nice change!

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Summer Love List

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Usually wishlist-style posts like this are full of things I intend to buy in the future, but this time the list is composed of things I already have or have recently acquired (minus the bra). As you can tell, summer doesn’t necessarily make me more colorful, but I still enjoy a new season as much as anybody ever did!

1. Kate Spade Saturday In the Loop Skimmers // After years of getting my black flats from cheapo places like Forever 21, Payless, H&M, etc., I finally decided to get a sturdy pair of basic black leather flats. I switch out my shoes fairly often, but black flats are one of those staples that if it’s not good quality, I’m going to wear it OUT. I was drawn to these because they’re not flashy but the little loop detail keeps them from being completely plain. I didn’t plan to wear them 6/7 days a week as a test to see how durable they were, but that’s what happened because they’re so easy to slip on and go.

2. Warby Parker Lyle Frames in Plum Marblewood // I know, I know. I already have a bunch of glasses, but I hadn’t gotten a new pair in awhile and I’d been looking at these for about two months before I fit them into my budget and snagged them. All of my glasses are black, gray or some kind of brown tortoiseshell, so when Warby Park put out the color Plum Marblewood, I couldn’t stop checking to see which frames it came in. It has really subtle touches of purple within a brown/black marbling, so I got the color frames I’d been looking for without getting something way out of my regular style. They’re also round but small in comparison to some of my frames, so they look very grown-up to me. I’ll probably do a full post on them soon!

3. ASOS Quitt Cross Body Bag With Rabbit Ears // Most of my bags are pretty big and I have a clutch or two, but no small purses. I’d been coming back to this again and again because I’d seen it online/on other blogs and I wanted to talk myself out of it because those EARS. But I love those ears. And it’s black. I’m instantly drawn to pieces more if they come in black. It’s the perfect size for some cash, id, phone, lipstick, maybe a small facial spray or body mist and a pair of glasses/sunglasses.

4. Skivvies by For Love & Lemons Fleur Bra in Black // This is the one thing on this list that I probably won’t get, but I can still admire it and love it from afar. I’m a wee too busty for little triangle bras like this, but I saw it awhile back and I wished it would look good on me. It’s so delicate and pretty and I love it.

5. Assets by Sara Blakely One-Piece Floral Swimsuit From Target // I’ve already broken this in late in the spring for our little cabin trip with friends in May. I usually gravitate to black swimsuits, but this one was floral with just enough black to keep me interested. It kind of reminds me of Monet. I was a little hesitant because it was only available online, and swimwear can be tricky, but it worked out in the end. If anyone else is interested in this one, just be advised that it doesn’t have as much stretch as most swimsuits I’ve owned. It fit fine once it was on, but even with my non-existent hips I had trouble shuffling into it at first. Totally worth it though!

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