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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Nail Stamping with Born Pretty Plates

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I'll be honest, I really thought these fuller image plates from Born Pretty Store would turn out to be my favorite plates that I own, but it didn't work out that way. I have used these plates a few times now and I'm never quite satisfied with my results, I don't know if it's my color combos or if I'm just being too critical of my work. I do have a couple nail looks to show where I have used these plates today, I'll will continue to tinker around with these to see if I end up with better results somewhere down the road.

First up is plate BP-17 I chose this plate because I really liked the 'fan' design that two of the images have. Gorgeous, right?


For the look I used Ciate Mistress and a white cream for stamping. Please excuse the quality of the photo, I took it with my phone in terrible lighting.


Next I have plate BP-22 I really liked the image from the top left and the one on the bottom, but for my first time using this plate I went with the top left image.


For this look I used Sweet Irish Cream from The Little LacquerBean and a black cream for the stamping. I like the results of this one better than the one above.


I know it's not the plates that I'm not satisfied with because they are really good plates, the etching is just perfect on them and they both have really awesome designs, like I said before it's either my color combos that I've tried or something. I will revisit these plates in the near future though :)

If you would like to grab the plates that I've shown here or any other nail art supplies you can save 10% off your order with code: SMBW10 and as always Born Pretty Store has FREE shipping!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Red & Green Christmas Nails

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One more quick Christmas Nail idea! I did use some Christmas decals that I received from Born Pretty Store, but you can do this mani with out them.

To start off I applied Avon Iceberg for my base. My first thought was to do a water marble, talked myself out of that, then I thought I'll do a fan brush mani, talked myself out of that one too. In the end I decided I would do a dotticure. I used China Glaze Running in Circles and Ruby Pumps for my dots. I really loved how this turned out, but I really wanted to use some more of the Christmas decals, so I added a snowman and Santa to a couple of my nails.


The decals worked great, had no issues with them at all. I think they are super cute and are the perfect add on to a Christmas nail look. My dots show through the snowman a little bit, but that's okay with me. 

If you want to grab these decals to use next Christmas or any other decals, you can save 10% on your order by using code: SMBW10 and as always Born Pretty has FREE shipping!

Hope you all enjoy your weekend! I'm heading out of town to visit with my family the only chance I have before Christmas :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas Nail Ideas

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I think I am finally on the mend from this sinus/ear infection! Once I did start feeling better all I wanted to do was my nails LOL and lets just say, I should not do my nails if I'm feeling the least bit out of it.

I wanted to work on some Christmas nail designs/ideas and I knew I had some Christmas decals from Born Pretty and I figured that would be the easiest thing to do to my nails. I had a great idea in my head but I don't think that it transferred over well from my head to my nails. So the first thing I did was start out with a white base (Avon Iceberg) then I did the 'saran wrap' technique on all but my accent nail, using Cherry Merry from Duri Cosmetics. On my accent nail I added a super cute Christmas tree from the Born Pretty decals. I think my issue with this is that it's a whole lot of red and just a hint of green. I'm thinking instead of using red for my other fingers I might should have used green. What do y'all think?


This next Christmas inspired mani is a very simple subtle look that can be created using any nude polish as a base and adding a red, gold, or green glitter to the top. Here I used Shore Bet from Pure Ice for my base and Sinful Colors Gilded for my glitter. It is a beautiful red and gold mix of glitter that gives a little bit of life to the nude polish. I think this would be great for a Holiday wedding or an office party where crazy nail polish is frowned upon.


I have a couple more Christmas themed manis in mind, but not sure if I will get around to doing them before Christmas. I will try my best though :)

Now I'm off to catch up on blogs that I read, I have almost 2 weeks of catching up to do!!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Review: Key West Aloe Gentle Aloe Facial Cleanser

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Key West Aloe describes their Gentle Aloe Facial Cleanser as 'A pH balanced, gentle foaming formula containing 30 percent aloe vera. It removes all residue of facial and eye makeup while still being gentle on your skin. It is idea for all skin types.' They claim that in addition to removing all makeup and being gentle that it will preserve elasticity  and rebalances the moisture level, stimulates circulation and refreshes dull looking skin and has a fresh, clean citrus scent.

The Gentle Aloe Facial Cleanser also contains some other key ingredients in addition to the aloe vera that are great for your skin.

  • Basil oil to stimulate circulation and refresh dull looking skin and improve the skin color, complexion and tone.
  • Sweet Orange Peel Oil supports collagen formation in the skin.
  • Sandalwood oil rejuvenates, rehydrates and works as an anti-inflammatory.
  • Galbanum Resin Oil promotes cell regeneration and tones the skin.
  • Babassu Oil helps rebalance moisture levels in oily skin and also aids in preserving the elasticity of the skin by keeping it soft and supple while ridding it of surface impurities.
  • Lemon Peel Oil possesses skin tightening and toning effects. It also serves as a purifying disinfectant making it idea for treating oily, tired and stressed skin.
  • Bergamont Fruit Extract gives you the cooling and refreshing feel and helps calm inflamed skin and has antiseptic properties.

I have been using the Gentle Aloe Facial Cleanser for a little while now an I have seen a difference in my complexion and tone. My skin looks brighter and no longer has a dull look to it. I have also noticed that after I used this product I have less redness to my face as opposed to using my other cleansers. Since colder weather is here this cleanser has been great for keeping my skin moisturized, usually during the colder weather months my face is super dry and I have not had any real issue with that since using this cleanser. After I use it and pat my face dry it feels so incredibly soft and smooth. I also get a cooling sensation after using it to, which feels really nice on my skin. For me this did remove foundation makeup really well, but it did not remove all of my eye makeup. I don't know if that is because my liner that I use is waterproof or what the deal with that is. However, I like this cleanser so much I don't mind pulling out my little bottle of eye makeup remover to finish getting my eye makeup off! The cleanser has a little foaming action, but it seems to be very minimal.

I also really love the scent of this cleanser, it is exactly as they described it; a fresh, clean citrus scent. You can definitely smell the sweet orange peel and a hint of the lemon peel oil. The scent is and extra plus for me because I love lemony scents.

I also want to address the one statement above about oily skin. I always fear if something is good for oily skin, that it will be drying to my already dry skin. This cleanser, as I stated above has been a huge help to my dry skin, so if you have dry skin don't let that one note turn you off from this amazing cleanser.

I'll be honest I tried this cleanser out before I checked to see how much it was. After using it for a while and seeing how good it made my skin look, I figured it would be rather expensive, but it's not! It's $16.50 for a 6oz bottle. My current cleanser comes in a 6.8 oz bottle for $14.99.

Have you heard of the Key West Aloe Company?

** I received this sample courtesy of BeautyStat **

Monday, December 1, 2014

Fall Nails

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Today I am sharing with you what will probably be my last Fall mani of the year, and I'm loving it. One of my favorite things about fall is when the leaves begin to change colors, I especially love Maple leaves, they are so brightly colored. Because of that fact when I seen these Maple Leaf Water Decals from Born Pretty Store I just had to have them. If you are interested in these you can save 10% with code: SMBW10  and shipping is always FREE!


After receiving these I had to decide on a base color that would look great with the leaves, I decided to go with Urban-Nights from China Glaze. It's a beautiful deep plum-purple cream that is just perfect for fall and in my opinon really helped the color of the leaf decals stand out. These decals were really easy to work with and I had no issues with them at all, like I do some decals.


Y'all know me, I can't just leave well enough alone, so I added some of It's Real 18K top coat from Sephora by OPI to give it a little something more. I really like how it turned out, but my camera just could not capture how pretty it really was in person.


Do y'all like doing the Photo-a-Day challenges? Well I've never done one and I've always wanted to, so I found a few for the month of December and pulled prompts from each of them and made up my own little challenge. If you are interested in doing it, I have it posted over on my Instagram. Let me know in the comments if you will be doing it too :)

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Cow Nails

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Today I'm sharing one of the cutest nail looks I've done in a while, cow nails! I have to admit I have a slight obsession with baby Holsteins, I think they are one of the cutest things ever. When I saw this plate I thought the design in the middle would make an excellent cow print. The plate is from Born Pretty Store, I love their plates, always great quality and work very well.


I am so in love with the result that I got! I painted all my nails with Avon Gel Finish Iceberg and then on my ring fingers I took Duri's Jamberry and painted about half of them. Then I took a dotting tool to make the eyes and the nostrils. For the rest of my nails I used the stamping plate to create the cow print. I also used the very edge of the image and my stamper to apply a few spots to my ring fingers too, so the would look more cow like.


Super cute, right? I can now mark #11 Animal Print off of the #SBBNailChallenge list!


Hope you're having a great weekend!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Waterfall Nails

I wanted to do a Thanksgiving themed mani, but didn't want to do turkeys, so I thought I would try out a new technique and do Waterfall Nails! I like the way these came out! I've had a few people tell me that they look like flames and I've had a couple tell me they look like Turkey tails :)

Waterfall nails is a super easy technique to do and is something that I will do again in the future. I'm thinking white nails with Neon 'falls'!

For this look I used Avon's Gel Finish polish in Mudslide for my base and used Sinful Colors Clementine, Revlon Delicious, Mark's Saffron and a Yellow for my 'falls'.


I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! Anyone go out and hit the Black Friday sales today?
Tomorrow I'll be back with a super cute nail look :)


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Blue and White Water Marble

If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen this nail art sample I was working on. 


Well I got it finished up, but had to leave out the silver, Which was Sally Hansen Celeb City. It did not want to be water marble friendly. I also had to take out Maybelline's Frozen Over, it did not work well either. 

So that left me with Frostbite from China Glaze and Iceberg from Avon's Gel Finish line. These two worked very well for marbling! I absolutely love the way it came out!


If you haven't noticed I'm on a water marble kick LOL

Hope you all have a great day and thanks for stopping by :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Cosmic Water Marble

Super short post today, I wanted to share with you my favorite mani I've done this month, a water marble! I used 2 of Avon's Cosmic polishes, Eclipse and Super Nova. These are classified as holographic polishes, more on the scattered side than linear. 

These polishes worked so much better than I expected for marbling, I didn't even put down a base color and it still came out opaque and vibrant!


The only issue I did run into was that I should have got fresh water before I started on my second hand. It came out with the colors mixed up a little bit. These seem to spread out really well and do not dry quickly in the water. 

This is going to be my Holographic mani for the #SBBNailChallenge

See, super short post ;) Hope you all have a great day!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Delicious Red

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I'm not a huge fan of red nails on myself, mostly cause I can't find a true red polish. Here I used Delicious from Revlon Colorstay, the formula is great, dried fast and I only needed 2 coats. However, it is not a true red either, it's more of an orangish red.

Y'all know I can't just leave my polish plain, so I added Top of the Gold, a gold flakie type polish from NYC. It was kinda hard to see so I topped that off with Matte FX from Salon Perfect. 



I liked the way l this came out, but it did not last long at all! I got a few nicks and dings not even an hour after completing this mani. The polish was super soft, so much in fact that I was able to just scrape it off with one of my nails. I don't know which polish caused that issue, gonna have to do some research and see if I can't figure it out. In any case I can now mark Red off the #SBBNailChallenge

Tomorrow I'll be back with a gorgeous water marble!


Friday, November 14, 2014

Chevrons

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Knocking another number off the #SBBNailChallenge with Chevrons! I purchased some chevron nail vinyls from The Little LacquerBean a few weeks ago, so I thought now would be a good time to try them out. I have never used nail vinyls before, only stripping tape and nail decals. I feel these are pretty much the same concept as stripping tape, but a lot better quality, thicker and more durable. The nail vinyls worked great for me, I was even able to stick them to my nail then re-position them and they still stuck to my nail. I do think I should have waited for my base color to dry a little more before I stuck them on, but for my first try I think I did a pretty good job.


I also have got into this phase, shall we say, that if I am stamping my nails or in this case using the vinyls, I don't want all my nails looking the same so changing up the way I placed the vinyls I was able to create a different look for each nail!

The polishes I used were both from Avon, the white is Iceberg from the Gel Finish line and the silver is Moonbeam from the Cosmic Collection.

Woo Hoo! I have completed 4 of the 54 prompts. Looks like I need to try out the right side LOL


Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Half Moons

Marking another mani off the #SBBNailChallenge today with a half moon manicure! This was my first try at this technique. I used Plum Power from Sally Hansen and Saffron from Mark.  I wasn't satisfied with just the half moon design so I decided to add some dots and turned it into a mani that I absolutely love!


Don't forget you can participate in this nail challenge too, just remember to tag your post and instagram photos with #SBBNailChallenge You don't have to work the list in order and you can post as often or as infrequent as you like.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Review: Infiniti Pro by Conair 3Q

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Infiniti Pro by Conair 3Q claims to do some things that would make any lady's hair routine seem less daunting; 70% faster drying time, 40% less noise***, 75% less frizz and longer dryer life due to brushless motor technology****.

The dryer has a metallic silver plastic body, but don't let the sound of plastic fool you, it is a very well made dryer and really does not feel like plastic at all. It has Ion technology for enhanced shine and 75% less frizz. Titanium ceramic technology that provides infrared heat to gently dry hair. One really nice feature is the locking cold shot button, it also has 3 heat settings; cool, warm and hot as well as 2 speed settings; low and high. It is the first brushless motor hair dryer available at mass market! It comes with a concentrator attachments for straightening the hair and a diffuser attachment to make your curls look their best! It gets 3 Q's for being Quick and Quite and good Quality.



My past experiences with hair dryers have been terrible when compared to my experience with this one. The Conair dryer dries my hair so much faster and does not leave it frizzy like my old dryer. This is also the first dryer that I've used with a concentrator or diffuser attachment. I was blown away, no pun intended, by the results I got when trying to blow dry my natural curly hair straight. It actually, much to my surprise, ended up pretty straight, with hardly any frizz. It took me about 30 minutes to fully dry it and that was with a lot of stopping to maneuver hair or re-position the brush and dryer. Once I finished with the blow dryer I did  run a flatiron over it and that took about 15 minutes, usually a 30-40 minute process after allowing hair to fully air dry. So all together it took me about 45 minutes to achieve the final look.


After using flat iron

The difusser works amazing! Was able to get my hair about 90% dry in about 15-20 minutes. My curls were full and had movement, something I never get by letting it air dry. I did not experience any frizz from the difusser and was even able to wear my curls for a second day! One thing I really loved about using the diffuser is I was able to get some volume on the top of my head instead of having it really flat on the top and super curly down towards the lower half. 

First day curls
Second Day Curls

I loved having two speed and three heat settings, I was able to find the perfect setting for each of the ways I styled my hair. The locking cold shot button was great too, not only does it help lock in your style, it was great to use for cooling my head off a bit while drying.

This dryer definitely gives me a faster drying time and way less frizz. As for the 40% less noise claim, it is quieter than some blow dryers but it's till noisy. After drying my hair with this blow dryer it still felt super soft and not dry and crunchy and I feel that was due to the Titanium Ceramic Technology. This dryer packs a punch with the air flow too, when I was maneuvering it around while straightening my hair, I kept blowing my hair ties and clips off the counter. I would also have to turn it off before laying it down on the counter or it would blow it's self off the counter.

I highly recommend this dryer! It was launched in September 2014 and is priced at $119.99 It can be found at Target, Walgreens, Ulta, Walmart, Rite Aid, CVS and Bed, Bath and Beyond.

* When compared to T3 dryer model 83808
*** When compared to the 3Q hair dryer without patent pending nois reduction technology
**** When compared to standard AC motor dryers
** This item was provided for review courtesy of Beauty Stat **

Empties

I'm a week later on my empties post than I had planned. I had the opportunity to go spend a week with my family, so I jumped on it. This will be the first empties post I have done since May so let's just get right in to it!

I mostly had hair stuff, so we'll check that out first. I finished up Avon Advance Techniques Restoring Shampoo and Conditioner, not anything special about it, didn't notice any changes in my hair, will not repurchase. Next is Suave's Humectant Moisture Shampoo, I liked this it smells nice and seems to give my hair a little moisture and it's inexpensive, would probably repurchase. I also finally finished off the Suave Moroccan Infusion Shampoo, love the way it smells! As with all Suave products I would probably repurchase just because it's inexpensive. Tresemme Flawless Curls Mousse, I liked this and it's affordable, would likely purchase again but right now I want to try out some gels and cream products for my curls. Suave Touchable Finish hair spray, used to be my all time favorite, but I fell in love with an old favorite in September while at the beach, so I probably will not be repurchasing this product. My new/old favorite hairspray Rave! I used to use this stuff all the time back in middle and high school, picked up a travel size while at the beach and fell back in love with it. Obviously will be repurchasing this. Finished off another bottle of Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Moroccan Sleek Oil Treatment, love this stuff on the days that I wear my hair in it's naturally curly state, gives it the extra hydration it craves, will repurchase. Lastly in the hair care empties I have some Dove Oxygen Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner, I received these samples from PinchMe back in the summer, best I can remember I really liked these products and they smell amazing, may purchase in the future.


I also had a few face items. Two packs of Epielle facial cleansing tissues, I get these at Big Lots for $1 a pack, they work well and are in my budget. I have already repurchased some back ups. ELF makeup mist and set is my favorite setting spray. I tend to use this more often when I wear a full coverage foundation, I would repurchase. Love the L'Oreal Hydrafresh toner, this is the second bottle I have finished! Have already repurchased. The last face product I finished off is Avon Elements Moisture boost, love this as a spring and summer moisturizer, but now that it is fall my face feels like it needs some extra moisture, so I would repurchase this but for spring and summer use.


Lastly nail and hand items: Onyx professional acetone remover, something that I will repurchase over and over LOL Also finished up a bottle of equate regular polish remover. Lastly I finished off my Sugar Lemon hand sanitizer from Bath & Body Works, I love lemon scents so I have to repurchase this!


What products have you been finishing off?
Do y'all enjoy these empty posts?

Monday, November 3, 2014

Multicolored Stamping

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Today I am checking off another number from the SBBNailChallenge, 26 Stamping! This stamping is different from other stamping manis I have done, I used 3 colors instead of my usual one. The colors I chose to use were Essence Break Through, Revlon Wild Strawberry and Pink Ice Mint Crush. For my base color I used Avon's Gel Finish polish in Iceberg. I'm hoping it won't begin to crack on my nails like other white polishes tend to do.


The plate I used is another one from Born Pretty Store, it's the Elegant Lace Bow Knot Pattern QA59. As with all the plates that I have received from there, it's great quality and has endless possibilities! If you are like me and want all of their stamping plates you can save 10% on your order by using coupon code: SMBW10


For how I done this multicolored stamping I have provided a picture tutorial :)


Here is the completed mani after clean up! I really like the way this came out and is something I will do again in the future!


You can take part in the SBBNailChallenge too, just tag your post with SBBNailChallenge or your Instagram photos with #SBBNailChallenge

Tomorrow I think I'll have an Empties post for you guys. I've been hoarding my trash for a while now LOL Hope you all have a great day!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Avon Starlight

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Happy November!

Today I am checking off another number on the SBB Nail Challenge, number 4 Green. I am using a polish that I had bought a while ago and it just got pushed to the back of my unworn drawer, Avon Starlight from their Cosmic Collection.

This is a gorgeous greenish-yellow holographic polish. Unfortunately I did not have any sun to photograph this in, so I just used my flashlight on my phone as my light source. In the light it does tend to look more green than yellow.


Even as pretty as this was on it's own, I just couldn't leave it be, as you see in the photo. So I added some chevron stamps to it using a plate that I received for review from Born Pretty Store. I love the stamping plates from there, they are always great quality, work well and come in a wide variety of designs. The plate that I used was the Zebra Stripes Love Pattern QA91. It is a great plate and lots of potential manicures in it and at a price of only $2.99, you can't beat that! Plus you can save an extra 10% with coupon code SMBW10
This plate would also be great to use for Valentine's day!



I hope you all enjoy your weekend! We are getting a first snow of season today, it does not seem to be as big a deal as the weather man made it out to be, but it sure is cold LOL

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