Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Pinterest-Inspired Nails, take 2

I spend a lot of time browsing the hair and beauty section of Pinterest, for blogging inspiration. I pin a lot of fun nail trends and colors that I'd like to try (actually, copy) but I don't always follow through. But I've decided to try a pinterest-inspired nail once a week.. and post about it of course. :)

This was my inspiration for this week:

I LOVE these colors for fall.  This dark taupe-y smoky brown is perfect for fall. I paint my nails every week or so, dependong on if it needs it, and I almost always switch it up and try a different color. But with this shade, I've been repainting over and over, which is unheard of for me! 

I'm not sure what colors were used in the inspiration photo, as the pin brings you to the photo only. But I'm 99% positive its "You Don't Know Jacques" by OPI, and I happen to own that color :) The accent nail, however, isn't spot on. I used a chunkier glitter over a rose gold polish ("Halo" by Orly over Nicole by OPI's "It Starts With Me"). So my accent nail is a bit different, but the color is pretty accurate. 

What do you think? A good copy-cat? Stay tuned for more pinterest-inspired looks!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

All about BB Creams

What is a BB cream?

According to Wikipedia..
"BB cream stands for blemish balm, blemish base, or beblesh balm.. and in Western markets, beauty balm. It is a cosmetic item sold mainly in East and Southeast Asia, although larger beauty brands are increasingly introducing BB creams to Western markets."

Lets stop there. 
They are, and have been for a while, huge in Asian, especially Korean, markets. They were very expensive, and very hard for us 'Westerners' to get. They offer more coverage and the Korean formula is mineral-based and is intended, not only to cover blemishes, but to treat blemishes- including acne, sun spots, and age spots. It also contains anti-wrinkle, anti-inflammitory, and soothing effects.

Do our American BB creams do that?
 No. Just look at the ingredients. The BB creams you see sold in American are nothing more than tinted moisturizers. I hate to break it to you. I just hate to see people buy these products thinking that their skin is going to change because of the benefits, and then become sorely disappointed. These creams may help your skin, but only because its a light-weight moisturizer, tinted with a bit of color, with an SPF. 

I took a look at the ingredients of a popular drugstore brand BB cream. The one and only active ingredient is Octinoxate 4%. If you do a quick search of this ingredient, its primarily used in sunscreens and lip balms. So, nothing life-changing. I then did a search for the first few inactive ingredients. In case you didn't know, the ingredients listed first in anything- food, facial products, shampoo, etc., are always the most abundant ingredients. So, moving on. I searched the first ingredients. (I won't list them all, because they're all big words no one can pronounce, but you can look for yourself). The first 4 or 5 ingredients are all defined as either skin conditioning or moisturizing agents that are commonly found in your everyday, run-of-the-mill moisturizers, foundations, lip products, and even deodorants.

Nothing 'major' in BB creams causes any more skin benefits than the current moisturizer you're now using; however, the fact that it contains some color (to wear under powder or by itself) to give you some light coverage, AND the fact that it contains an SPF are good things. BB Creams aren't ALL bad. Just don't be fooled into thinking they are anything like the ones sold on the Korean market, or that they are anything more than a tinted moisturizer with an SPF. I actually really like the Garnier BB cream for combo/oily skin; not because it has changed my skin or has done anything amazing, but because it gives decent lightweight coverage, doesn't make me insanely greasy, goes on smoothly, and I can forgo my SPF + moisturizer + foundation routine, and do it all with one product! 

Friday, October 25, 2013

My Pinterest-Inspired Nails

Like I said before... I fell in love with the black + leopard nails I found on Pinterest

I am not talented enough to do the leopard myself. So I cheated. I used these Maybelline Color Show Nail Stickers. They're limited edition, so get 'em soon! I got mine at Rite Aid for about $9. I've always been intimidated by the many nail decal/stickers out there. They always look pretty, but I never wanted to shell out the money (~$6-$12 depending on the brand) in case they were hard to use, or didn't last long. But when I saw the mirrored leopard ones, I had to pick them up.

I was kind of surprised at how easy they are to apply. I just found the correct size for my finger, pressed, folded it over at the end, and then filed the end off, like the instructions said. I didn't realize until after I had them on, that they actually came with their own nail file and cuticle stick. So I'll be sure to use those next time! As for the length of time they stay on, I'll have to update you in a few days. But for now, I accomplished the look I was going for, and they're super cute, so I'm happy! Here's the finished product...

(black nail polish is "Black Expressions" by Finger Paints) 

So what do you think? Good interpretation of one of my favorite fall nail trends? Comment below!

Update: It has been 3 days and I currently have one nail decal hanging on strong, and the other didn't make it. I was about to write an update explaining that while I love the concept and the look of the nail decals, they're better for a night out or a certain event, and not for long-term wear; however, then I remembered what I did wrong. I applied a base coat to every finger on my left hand, when I remembered that the instructions said to apply to clean, bare nails. So I used nail polish remover on the finger I wanted to apply the decal and removed the polish so that the nail was clean. I wasn't thinking and made the same mistake on my right hand, and didn't remember the base coat until after the decal was applied. So on my left hand, the decal was applied to a clean, bare nail and has lasted through 3 showers, dish-washing, typing blog posts, and every day life. The decal on my right hand was applied (accidentally) over a  base coat, and after 3 days, it started peeling off at the top. I kept pressing it down and trying to get it to stay, but I finally got tired of it, and peeled it off. So, so far the left hand is still sticking and looks great, because I followed the instructions and applied it exactly how I was supposed to. The base coat on the right hand really did make a difference, so be sure to follow the instructions, and you should have a long-lasting decal. Have a great day, hope this helped! 
Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Best Drugstore Beauty Buys

A few years ago, my idea of 'high-end makeup' was the Mary Kay concealer my mom would buy me every Christmas. Everything I owned was from the drugstore. Since then, I've added some more expensive products into my collection, but I will never stop shopping for makeup at the drugstore. Some of my favorite makeup products are 'drugstore products' (CVS, Rite Aid, Walmart, Target) and I repurchase them over and over. Here is my list of absolute favorite drugstore buys.

1. Foundation: Revlon Colorstay
Retail Price - $11-$13

This was sort of tied with my other favorite foundation by the same line, Revlon Colorstay Whipped. I actually tried that foundation first. But once I tried the regular Revlon Colorstay, I was hooked. Its the perfect medium coverage, every-day foundation. It lasts forever even through heat and humidity. I buy the Combination/Oily skin formula, and it never makes my face greasy. The price is reasonable and it is worth every dollar.

2. Under Eye Concealer: Garnier Anti-Dark Circle Roller
Retail Price - $11-$13

Between allergies and genetics, I really struggle with dark circles. This product is probably one of my absolute must-haves. Even if I don't wear any other makeup at all, I have to put on my dark circle roller. I use the one with a light tint to it. Its sort of a 2-in-1 because it has all of the ingredients of a dark circle eraser- caffeine and all that good stuff- plus, the roller ball 'rejuvenates', and it also has a good light-to-medium coverage that is extremely blendable. It may be considered a tiny bit pricey for a concealer, but its totally worth it!

3. Setting Powder: Rimmel Stay Matte Powder
Retail Price - $4-5

I have tried a couple of other setting powders, and I keep going back to this one. I use it every single day. Its the perfect complement to my foundation, and I also use it to set my undereye concealer. Super inexpensive, and much better than any other I've tried. If you have problems with oily skin I would definitely try this setting powder.

Retail Price - $4-$6

I talked about this eyeliner in my beauty favorites post, and like I said then, I have been using this eyeliner since I first started wearing makeup, over 10 years ago. It goes on so smooth and thin and doesn't smudge at all. It somehow stays on all day, yet comes off really easily with any makeup remover. I haven't heard much about this eyeliner in the beauty community, but I would say it is definitely worth trying. 

5. Mascara: Maybelline Falsies
Retail Price - $6-$8

I like this mascara because its natural, yet dramatic, if that makes any sense. It doesn't make my eyelashes look clumpy or spidery. They just look wispy, fluffy, long, and voluminous, all while looking natural at the same time. The flexible wand has a slight curve to it, which plumps and builds volume without clumping. 

6. Brush(es): Eco Tools
Retail Price - $8-$10

I own some expensive brushes, but Eco Tools brushes continue to be some of my favorites, and you can find them at any WalMart, Ulta, or drugstore. They are the softest, fluffiest brushes I've ever come across. I use their blending brush for my eyeshadow, a blush brush for my setting powder, and another for my bronzer. I have yet to find a softer brush, at any price point!

So that's it! You may notice that I didn't include blush or bronzer. I am not a huge fan of blush, and the only one I have ever found that works for my skin tone, is a high end blush. As far as bronzer, my absolute favorite drugstore bronzer was discontinued. :( It was a matte bronzer by Milani, and the name completely chipped off of it so I've never been able to find it online because I don't have the name. So those two are off my list. But I hope you pick up the products listed above, and give them a try. They are all so inexpensive, so its always worth it!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Have you met Matt(e)?

I have been waiting to get my hands on this palette for a while. The Meet Matte(e) Nude palette is by The Balm, which isn't available in many retail locations. I found mine on HauteLook for a whopping $16, although it retails for way more than that.

Here are the deets:

Where to find it: or in some retails stores like select Nordstoms or Macys. You can also join HauteLook and wait for it to go on sale.
Retail price: $42
What is it? 9 large matte eyeshadows in nude shades, adorably all sharing the same name, "Matt"

-Don't confuse this with the old "Meet Matt(e)" palette- this one is the nude palette, with different colors, and the shadows, along with the palette itself, are MUCH larger (hence the "size matters")
-The Meet Matt(e) Nude palette also contains a nice, large mirror

First of all, the colors are so versatile. The perfect neutrals, or 'nudes', for everyone. I love the variety of colors. Each color is very different, yet they each work together in their own way. Here's a breakdown: 

Matt Johnson: a cool-toned gray; can look almost blue in some lighting
Matt Garcia: medium brown with a reddish undertone
Matt Malloy: without a doubt, my favorite shadow in the palette. an extremely creamy, opaque white
Matt Rosen: warm medium brown; perfect crease color
Matt Wood: a very deep neutral brown; could even be used as a liner
Matt Singh: peachy colored nude; almost the same color as my skin tone
Matt Abdul: a light-medium greyish taupe; looks almost blue on my skin though
Matt Lombardi: my 2nd favorite; a creamy neutral beige-yellow mix
Matt Hung: medium taupe, with a slight purple undertone

(Swatched in the same order as the palette)
L-R: Matt Johnson - Matt Garcia - Matt Malloy

Matt Rosen - Matt Wood - Matt Singh
Matt Abdul - Matt Lombardi - Matt Hung

My overall thought: the shadows are great. For the most part they are so creamy (especially Matt Malloy). Matt Wood and Matt Johnson can be a tiny bit chalky, but are still great shadows. The colors are extremely blendable, and work really well together. Matt Malloy and Matt Lombardi are the 2 lightest shades of the palette, and are surprisingly the most opaque. I was shocked at how smoothly they go on. My first time applying Matt Malloy I actually had to take my finger and wipe a tiny bit off because it was so white on my eyes! I don't really have any complaints. The palette is the perfect size for on-the-go, the mirror is amazing, and there isn't really one shadow I wont see myself using. I definitely suggest picking it up, as it is a great day-to-night palette.

So that's it! I hope this helped, and I hope you come for reviews in the future! If you have any questions, ask away :)
Sunday, October 20, 2013

My Favorite Fall Nails

As soon as it gets a tiny bit cold outside, my nails go from neon pink, to taupe, or grey, or even black. Its one of my favorite things about style in the colder months, fall nails! And I love nothing more than a good accent nail. So here's my compilation of the best nail colors and trends for Fall 2013!

[none of these photos are mine. I tried to give original credit when possible, although a lot are from Pinterest with no link to original source]

Black + leopard. I could never do the leopard myself, so I'm on the hunt for the perfect decal!

Taupe + Gold Sparkle. (Taupe color looks a lot of "You Don't Know Jacques" by OPI.)

black, cool, nail art, nails

studded  nails
Studded Nails. It is very possible to go overboard with the studs, spikes, and rhinestones. But I do think its a fun, edgy way to dress up your nails. You can't go wrong by adding a simple stud to each nail, or maybe a couple to an accent nail. And don't fall prey to the super-pricey special "nail studs" you may find online or in beauty stores, check out your local craft store for inspiration!

Deep plum hues. This is "Bahama Mama" by Essie. Try OPI's "Miami Beet" for a similar color.

Matte black. There are also all kinds of ways to play around with matte black polish. See here, here, & here.

Navy + Gold. I predict this color combo will be huge this fall. So be on the lookout for the perfect navy (I really like Butter London's "Royal Navy"). Carry this look into the summer with some white or red accents for a more nautical feel.

Dark grey. I personally love the gold accent with this, but I think this deep charcoal can stand alone. I believe this color is called "Nein! Nein! Nein! OK Fine" by OPI.

nail art tutorial
I am loving round nails right now! These are so cute
ネオンカラー☆ : 表参道・銀座ネイルサロンtriciaのネイリスト達~カルジェルも♪バイオジェルも♪スカルプも♪
Round Nails. To be completely honest, I am SO over the stiletto nail trend. But I do love a simple, round, non-claw-like round nail. I think it looks super classy, on-trend, and much more manageable!

Nude Nails. Don't underestimate the simplicity of a nude nail. If you like some extra bling, add some sparkle to the tips, or do a glittery accent. I think my favorite thing this fall is wearing nude, muted colors, with just a tiny bit of sparkle!

So what is your favorite fall nail trend? What will you be trying? Have you seen any good trends lately that I missed? Let me know with a comment below! 
Thursday, October 17, 2013
I thought I would start off by letting you get to know me.. or my makeup taste at least :) Here is a simple list of my favorites! Click the link for each product for an image, and where to buy. 


- Eyeliner: my tried & true Perfect Point Plus by Covergirl. I think I have used this eyeliner since I started wearing makeup in middle school

- Eye shadow palette: cliche, but Urban Decay's Naked 2 palette

- Eye primer: Stay Don't Stray by Benefit


- Primer: Benefit's Porefessional

- Concealer: I have yet to find a concealer I'm in love with.. but for my under eyes I use the Garnier Anti-Dark Circle Eye Roller. (The one with a concealer in it) 

- Foundation: Its a 3-way tie between regular Revlon Colorstay, Revlon Colorstay Whipped, and Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous.

- Bronzer: Another tie, between Nars Laguna and Too Faced Chocolate Soleil

- Blush: I don't know why, but I just can't find a blush that looks good on my skin. So I don't have a favorite

- Brush(es): I like Real Technique bushes in general. I have tons of favorites from that line.


- Chapstick: Another tried & true lifelong favorite, Burt's Bees

- Lipstick: Faux by MAC. It looks dark in the picture, but its really just a my-lip-color-but-better color that looks amazing with natural or dramatic makeup looks.

- Lip Gloss: Ehh. I don't use it that often so I don't have a favorite

Okay, I hope that wasn't totally boring. I really do use a good mix of drugstore and high end lines, and most of my purchases each month are from the drugstore/grocery store. I only spend money on pricier items if they come highly recommended, and I always check blogs, like this one, to see the opinions of others before I buy. I hope to be that blog for you! 

Reviews and first impressions coming soon!