Tag Archives: beauty

OPI Glitter Off Natural Nail Base Coat

OPIGlitterOff1I started researching peelable base coats awhile back because even though I love glitter nail polishes, they’re really more trouble than they’re worth to get off your nails. The feeling of cotton balls catching on glitter bits while you try to scrub them off just makes my skin crawl. Ech. I shuddered just typing it.

Anyhow, Essence and OPI seemed to make the most noteworthy ones, and using Mark’s Amazon Prime, I ordered the OPI’s version. Why these things aren’t readily available in regular stores I just don’t know. Ugh.

Even though it looks white and goopy, it actually dries clear on the nail. ALSO – If you have spare nail polish bottles laying around, the main ingredients in this stuff is basically two parts Elmer’s glue and one part water. I haven’t personally tried that concoction but I’ve seen a few DIYs on the internet that show it works just as good as the ones made by actual nail polish companies. OPIGlitterOff2This was with one coat of the base coat. Make sure you let the base coat dry completely before you apply the nail polish. I waited a full day before trying to peel off the Zoya Pixie Dust polish (one of my least favorite to remove but a favorite to wear). I used a cuticle pusher toward the base of my nail bed and it started to peel up very easily. It still took some doing toward the end. You can see that it came off in bits instead of one really satisfying piece like I’d hoped. There were still a few glittery spots clinging to the edge of my nails that made for easy cleanup. As you can see, my nail is free of 99% of the polish but they do look dry. Rub some cuticle oil/cream or argan oil on and they’re just fine. OPIGlitterOff3This was with two layers of the base coat. I only waited a few hours before trying to remove it because I’m impatienttttt, so keep that in mind when comparing the results. It was much easier to get the nail polish off with two layers underneath. See how it’s all bunched up and gummy looking? It just balled up as I pushed instead of flipping up like a scale on the first try. I think the best way is just to do a very thick single layer of the base coat instead of two.

ETA: OKAY here’s a quick update. This base coat does not hold up well if your hands are spending a lot of time in warm water. The polish just slides off intact when I’m washing my hair or if I take a bath. So take that as you will. If you like to bathe/wash your hair, watch your nails. It’s weird, but I actually just put a thin base coat on and then put the intact polish back on. It was like putting on a fake nail. Nails are weird.

I worried that the removable quality of the base coat would make the polish itself not stay as well, but so far that hasn’t been the case. I’m really excited about the prospect of wearing my glitter polishes more without totally dreading the removal process the entire time. I’m gonna sparkle so hard.

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Winter Skin Solutions

According to about 90% of beauty blogs, magazines, etc., I’m not alone in suffering from flaky, dry, dull skin during the winter months. My dreams of looking like a baby vampire are never far from my mind, so my skin can be reigned in for the most part now that I treat it right. Things like cold winter air and unforgiving car heaters can throw a wrench in it though. This collection of products are what I’m using the combat my winter skin.


Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Treatment Mask // This isn’t my favorite mask of all time (I’ll explain why in a second), but when my skin needs hydrating, this calms and soothes while moisturizing. You apply a generous amount like a regular mask and then you’re supposed to let it absorb in for 10-15 minutes before wiping off the excess/rubbing it in. It starts with a thick, creamy consistency that has that fresh clary sage smell, but it’s the excess/rubbing in part that always gets me. I feel like it doesn’t come all the way off or absorb completely, and what’s leftover is more waxy than creamy. Sometimes I’ll apply a thinner layer 30 minutes before bed and just leave it on to sleep.

boscia Tsubaki Cleansing Oil-Gel // When my skin’s already dry, the last thing I want to do is use a cleanser that’s going to leave my face feeling tight and awful. This oil-gel cleanser smells like roses and can remove light makeup/everyday grime without stripping natural oils. I love how popular oils and oil cleansers have become because they really are wonderful, even for people with oily or combination skin.

Josie Maran 100 Percent Pure Argan Oil & Argan Infinity Cream Intensive Creamy Oil // Did I mention I love oils? Here, have some more oil love talk. I add three-four drops of the 100 Percent Pure Argan Oil to my regular Cetaphil in the morning to give myself a boost of moisturizing power during the day. I save the Creamy Oil for my evening routine. On top of being good for my skin, I’ve also been able to add them to my nail and hair regimen. I’m so happy I saved up the 500 Beauty Point things at Sephora and got the Josie Maran deluxe sample set.

Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Water-Max Sleeping Mask // Sleeping masks are great because you can just wake up looking great. This one is amazing because it helps seal in your nighttime moisturizer while adding its own benefits. It has hyaluronic acid macromolecule (one of my favorite acids!) for hydration and nine essential oils that smell amazing and promote a feeling of comfort and restfulness (or so they say).

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask // This is the one I’m on the fence about. I included it because I am currently using it because my lips suffer most during winter. It has great reviews and it does feel good when I apply it before bed (after exfoliating gently), but I just don’t feel like it’s the holy grail of lip masks I read about. A little goes a long way, but it’s way too expensive (I had a coupon and was desperate). I hope it comes back and surprises me. To be fair, my chapped mouth is 70% from biting and licking my lips subconsciously and less from chronic dryness, so any improvement is quickly chewed away.

Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Miracle Dry Oil for Hair, Body & Face // I’m less a fan of this particular dry oil and more a proponent of any sprayable dry oil. My legs just absolutely kill and itch and burn after a shower in the winter even if I don’t shave (which is basically never at this point in my life – freedom!), but if I spray this on before I hop into the shower, my leg skin is less itchy and sad afterwards. I don’t really advocate this particular one for hair and face, but for a body oil, it smells good and doesn’t feel greasy. Works as a great moisture barrier to keep shower water from leeching any hydration from my legs!

Mario Badescu Facial Spray With Aloe, Herbs & Rosewater // My love! This isn’t just for winter, but since it’s a big part of my skin care year round now, it wouldn’t be fair to leave it out. When I first wake up, I spritz this on before applying my morning moisturizer. Skin is most receptive when it’s damp, so if I haven’t conveniently just stepped out of the shower, this is the best alternative. It smells lovely and feels so refreshing, plus it can be used to set or refresh makeup as well. Would recommend for everyone forever.

P.S. Today is my birthday! I’m actually writing this the day before my birthday, but it’ll publish when I’m hitting the insignificant 2-7. I really love my birthday (and birthdays in general) and I always try to keep with the idea that getting older isn’t something to be scared of, especially the notion that you need to be at a certain place in life by a certain time. Between older friends and family, I have so many fantastic examples of how age is not a limiter in any way, and it may seem silly to be thinking about it so much when I’m only 27, but I also know how terrifying it is for a lot of people my age (and younger!) to think about growing older. Sometimes when I’m eating boxed and cheese in my onesie cat pajamas, I can’t believe that I’m considered an adult at all. I don’t even know what I’m rambling about any more, but happy birthday to me and any other December babbies!

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Battle of the Blue Liners: Revlon Versus Wet n Wild

Earlier this summer I got stuck on the idea of colored liner, and even though I usually try to avoid trends, I feel like blue liner keeps coming in and out of vogue enough to make it worth the plunge. I picked up two liners to see which one I could see myself wearing through the rest of summer (and then some).


Wet n Wild MegaLiner in Indigo Blue // This is the first one I grabbed because I’ve been a fan of some other Wet n Wild products and it’s hard to say no when it’s so cheap (only $2.99). The first thing I noticed was the brush tip which I’m not a fan of. It wasn’t too hard to get the liquid liner evenly on the brush, but I prefer fine felt tips. The color is a shimmery navy that needs a few strokes to come off opaque.


Revlon ColorStay Skinny Liquid Liner in Electric // The second liner I got my hands on was this newer one from Revlon because I’d heard good things about it and it was closer to the color I’d originally pictured. It was a bit more ($7.99) so I had much higher expectations. I love felt tip applicators so I had a very easy time applying it evenly. The color is pretty much exactly like the lid and it comes off opaque with one stroke, so it’s easier to not mess up a good line but having to go over it over and over.


On the left is the Revlon and the right is the Wet n Wild. They both have good staying power and are smudge-proof, but they aren’t waterproof so don’t push your luck if you’re going to be swimming or sweating profusely.


Oh lord the close up eye photos. This is the Wet n Wild liner. It looks a little brighter on the eyes in natural light. It’d be good for someone looking to ease into colored liner because it’s buildable so you can start sheer and work up to something bolder.

bluebattle4Of the two, the Revlon was my winner. Mostly it was the applicator and the color’s opaqueness and matte finish. Both were pretty but I wanted something that would really stand out on an otherwise bland makeup day. I’m just now reviewing it, but I’ve worn it a lot this summer and I can see it being worn for fall and winter as well.

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Blue Eyes


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.



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.



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




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!




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.


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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