Product Review: Sally Hansen Miracle Gel formula

October 29, 2014

Well my friends, this will be my first unsatisfactory product review. I don’t like doing this and feel bad giving a product an unfavorable report but I want you to trust my opinion and in order for this to happen I must share with you the good and the bad. After all, I don’t want you spending your money on something that I don’t feel is worth it. And so I bring you Sally Hansen Miracle Gel formula. The product is made up of two separate nail polishes, a color and a clear top coat, which can be sold pre-packaged together in only a handful of colors (which in my opinion were awful choices) or separately with an array of 45 colors. The big to-do about this product is that it is the first at home gel nail product that does not involve the use of an LED light. This is huge for those of you who can do your own nails and love the gel formula. There are other gel formulas on the market for at home use, including two other formulas by Sally herself as well as other companies, but all involve the use of an LED lamp, which is an additional cost and can be pricey.

For those of you who are new to gel formula, the benefit of this type of nail polish application is both the staying power and the glossy finish. Oh and as soon as its applied, you can do anything with minimal waiting time. This is ideal for someone going on vacation or someone who used to like acrylic nails for the color staying power. It is important to note that it is not recommended to do gel nail polish applications back to back, especially since removal involves soaking of the nails in acetone polish remover, which is incredibly drying to both nails, skin and cuticles.

I was really excited to try this (actually really excited is QUITE the understatement). How excited was I? I am almost ashamed to tell you the lengths I went to get this but I will tell you because we are all friends here. I went to not one, but TWO local CVS stores to get it. The first surprisingly didn’t have it at all and the second only sold the top coat in the awful color prepackaged duo sets. So what did I do? I picked the color I wanted separately and looked up on my trusty iPhone if my local Target had the clear top coat in stock (side note if you ever want to see if Target has an item in stock before you travel there, their website has this feature- genius!). So I drive the ten extra minutes to Target, which I can’t stand because its constantly busy and never has parking. I talk myself twice into keep making the trek, get in the door, race over to the nail section only to find NO CLEAR TOPCOAT. Nothing. No colors at all! Did I let this stop me, you ask? Nope. I found a sales associate and told her my plight and waited until she came back out to tell me there was a box of 12 left and if I gave her a few minutes she would bring them out for me. You can imagine my giddiness. Finally, with it in my hand, I paid and rushed home to try this.

Maybe it was the build up of all the great reviews I had read about this product that has me disappointed. My trusty go-to source Allure Magazine had written several great web reviews on it and they have never steered me wrong. One review had given the product a fantastic rating, saying that it outlasted a salon gel application and never budged on the side of the nail. I do not agree. I think this nail polish is ok, not horrible, but not up to the hype and certainly not worth all the effort I put into purchasing it (but then maybe no beauty product is). I don’t find it any different than any regular nail polish application and I certainly don’t think its as glossy as a salon gel application. If you are looking to try an at home gel product and haven’t tried anything yet, I would say go ahead and try it since you don’t need an LED lamp but if you are looking to give up your monthly salon gel appointment for this product, don’t. If you are looking for just a new nail polish and top coat, you have nothing to lose as the price is the same as any of Sally’s, Essie’s or OPI’s nail polishes and it can be removed with regular remover. Bottom line: don’t go out of your way for this product- I already did for both of us 🙂

If you are interested in learning more about the product and where to buy it, click the image below.


The best makeup tool you will ever get for under $5

October 28, 2014

If you read any of my previous posts you know by now that I love spending time and money on eye makeup, so the fact that my favorite little tool is a mascara aid should come to no one’s surprise. I can’t take credit for finding this but I do want to spread the word about this fantastic little device (that I could only find online). It is a GAME CHANGER for your mascara. If you’re like me (impatient, heavy handed with mascara) you end up getting half of your application on your top lid or a lovely raccoon smudge marks below your bottom lashes. Both are very attractive looks :). The bigger the brush (and you know by now I love me some big brush action) the less control you have over exactly where that mascara is going. This does not stop me from using it but it does create the need for the little mascara guide below. It is small plastic wand that you place right behind the lashes so that when you apply your mascara, it catches all the excess formula leaving your lids and under eyes clean. Genius! Yes, it does look complicated but it completely makes sense. Each end is specified for the top or bottom lashes and holds your lashes in place while you apply your mascara. The best part? Its super cheap! The most expensive I found was five bucks, with the cheapest being about 2. This is really the best thing you will ever purchase for this little money for your eyes – you will definitely thank me later! Click on the image below to purchase and let me know what you think!



The Power of Saying No… and Return policies if you just can’t

October 25, 2014

How many of us have had this situation happen? You’re at the makeup counter, you’re not loving what the sales person has put on you but you smile and say “Oh, yes, you’re right, that looks pretty” or “Yes, I see the change in xyz” and are thinking the entire time “This is not for me, get it off my face now, please”. But the person is so nice and you are afraid of hurting their feelings so the next thing you know you have purchased it? Sound familiar? No? Well then bless your heart you are a stronger person than I am. I have fallen victim to this situation I don’t know how many times. I come home and say “Why did I buy this?”. I feel bad because 1. I think that person is the expert and 2. they have often spent so much time with me I feel that I need to purchase something. Friends, learn from my mistakes. This only leads to a sad bag of unused, resentful makeup you look at everyday and say “Why?” and become angry every time you see it. Or maybe that’s just me.

Don’t be afraid to say no. Don’t be afraid to say what you’re really feeling as long as it is polite. Saying something like “I want to see how it looks in different lights” or “let me think about it” is a perfectly good thing to say someone. Yes, sometimes these people are pushy (they might work on commission) but remember that it is your money, not theirs that is being taken into consideration. Don’t get into the mindset     “its only x dollars, so I won’t worry about it” because you could have saved that or purchased something you were really happy with. Remember, we work too darn hard to purchase things we are only half-hearted about it. When you have this experience, walk away or be polite and say no.

For those of you who just can’t, I understand. That’s why return policies are for! I would rather have you return something you hate than keep something that will be unused and wasted. Remember this: You can return almost anything. That’s right. Not sure? Ask what the store’s return policy is. Most department stores will have policies like you need to return unopened with the receipt. Sephora has an amazing return policy. Even if you don’t have the receipt you can return it (used or unused) for store credit, how great is that? When I worked there, we never even questioned a return – it would just get thrown into a box of half-used products. Also something I want you to think about – department stores are not the only ones who have great policies – CVS, Target, Walmart and Walgreens are right there with them. I know what you ‘re thinking- things are so cheap why would you return it. Well, prices are going up at big box and drug stores. Mascara is up to $15 with foundation at the same price. Lipstick is $9 as well as nail polish. That’s no chump change, at least not to me. Bought the wrong color or hate the product? You can return it, as long as you have kept the receipt. Don’t be afraid – those stores offer lower prices than the department and specialty stores but you are unable to try out the products so you have to make the best guess you can.

My point to all this is I want you to be happy with what you have purchased. Whichever option is right for you is fine, just please don’t keep the product. Remember I’m there with you – either saying no thank you or driving across town to avoid the seeing the original sales person who sold you the product so you don’t hurt their feelings when you return it 🙂

Happy Returns!


Batten down the lashes – another mascara post

October 14, 2014

When I was mascara shopping with my mother this weekend at Sephora I realized I forgot to write about two breakthrough mascaras that have come across my path and should not be ignored. I can’t believe I forgot to mention these, especially since I use one every day. See below 🙂

Lash Genius by Anastasia Makeup

Anastasia Beverly Hills - Lash Genius Waterproof Topcoat

Anastasia Beverly Hills – Lash Genius Waterproof Topcoat


Honestly, I don’t remember how I found out about this mascara but it has made daily mascara use easy now. This is a makeup line known for its eye brow products and you can use this product on your brows as well (as long as you don’t have any black mascara on it). This is a great clear, waterproof mascara that I put on after my black mascara has dried. Why do I do this? Because as I have mentioned before I have watery eyes and if I don’t put this on I have raccoon eyes by noon. Waterproof mascaras of the versions I like don’t work for me and they are very hard to remove. I like something that will come off easily with water (plus I don’t want to lose any lashes I already have!) and this does. Also, this allows me to wear whatever mascara I want without having to worry if there is a waterproof version available. Great product and great find!

Available at Sephora.

Also noteworthy is (yet another) Too Faced Better than False Lashes Nylon Extension System

Too Faced - Better Than False Lashes Nylon Lash Extension System

Too Faced – Better Than False Lashes Nylon Lash Extension System


So this is a little high maintenance and takes a bit of time, so if that is not for you, I completely understand. What you get though is really long lashes that go up to your eyebrow. To me, that is worth the $35 for the set. You start with the black mascara and then put the white mascara (which isn’t actually mascara, its little white nylon lashes that attach to your lashes and the mascara) and then reapply the black mascara. I’m telling you, the difference is very noticeable and your lashes really do look fake. I did a side by side test and the line’s Better Than Sex was almost as good, plus it was a little more black and glossy. Either way I don’t think you can go wrong here. Proving again, Too Faced has some great mascaras!

Available at Sephora.

Happy Fluttering,


Bang, Bang

October 13, 2014

Two weeks ago, I made an important decision. It was time to go back to bangs. As many of my coworkers, girlfriends and poor fiance know, I am growing my hair out for my wedding in June of 2015. I’m taking hair and nail vitamins, deep conditioning and ACTUALLY getting regular trims (I can’t remember the last time I did this religiously). I’m trying as hard as I can to get any extra length I can so that I can wear my hair down in luscious waves on the big day. I love when I see brides with their hair down- its so feminine and youthful.

That being said, up until now the only thing I could change to my hair has been the color. And boy have I changed it. Last year I went from blonde (with bangs) to growing them out and parting down the middle to red to brown to my last update- ombre (which I did myself, thank you very much). As I was getting tired of the ombre I started toying around with the idea of bangs again. I loved the last time I had them for a few reasons. 1. Your hair always looks “done”. Even when you have your hair up in a messy bun and you put no effort into it, when you have bangs, your hair looks a little more polished and put together. 2. It draws attention to the eyes (and if you have read my previous posts you know I love the eyes and lashes). 3. You can wear a little less make up and it covers forehead imperfections. Have a pimple or an oily forehead? No worries – bangs hide them! As excited as I was, I did consult some special loved ones who I knew would tell me the truth, not just want I wanted to hear (you know who you are). So two weeks ago I went for the big cut and I am so glad I did. I even came up with a new, more relaxed style that I like for my wedding day (see Jennifer Garner below). Even my mother gave me thumbs up when she saw me this weekend and I know if I get Kathy’s approval, we are good to go 🙂

Thinking about taking the plunge? If my words didn’t encourage you above, please see the gorgeous reasons below as to why you should. And remember, its only hair – if you want a change, go for it. It will always grow back.


Wedding Inspiration – look how gorgeous this hair is! I can’t stand it!

Sleek and smooth – how cool is this ombre straight and sleek style?

Long Straight Brown Ombre Hairstyle with Blunt Bangs

Super-thick with tousled waves – Rose looks so much better with bangs.

lob with bangs - Google Search

Bangs with an updo – check out those lashes!

Hannah Simone at the 2014 SAG Awards:

And last but not least…. no, she doesn’t have bangs but since we’re talking about hair can we all hale to the queen of hair? If you know me, you know how crazy I am about this woman and her hair. I love her, I love her, I love her.

Jennifer Aniston

Secret Weapon

October 7, 2014

When I was a little girl, my mother (a former hairdresser) led me to believe that I had thick, polka-straight hair. She would tell me this every time I told her I wanted a perm just like my best-friend in third grade. I was so envious of these bouncy, glossy tendrils. So you can imagine my surprise when in my late teens a hairdresser told me that I actually had fine, wavy hair like my dad. Kathy had lied to me all these years! And I hadn’t realized it because she had been blow-drying my hair straight my entire childhood so I never thought to question her (side note this would take place while watching new episodes of Life Goes On on the edge of my mom’s bed while she blow-dried my hair straight with an old-school Vidal Sasoon hair dryer that had a brush IN it – genius. Some of my greatest memories were sitting on the edge that bed on Sunday nights, hanging with my mom and watching what issue Becca and Corky were dealing with that week).

After learning that I actually had wavy hair that wasn’t thick (it is fine but I have a lot of it) I learned to embrace my natural wave, especially in the summer when the weather gets warmer. But I do enjoy wearing my hair straight for the most part. Here is where my secret weapon comes in. People often think I have naturally straight hair but I don’t – my straightener just does a really great job. And the best part is its simple to use and takes almost no time. I have used a ton of straighteners throughout high school, college and I confess even now I have a total of four (I know-I don’t even know why I need four) but this is the one I always go back to. I can’t take credit for finding it – I was a sophomore at college when my roommate who actually DID have really thick hair got this straightener and I tried it on myself. I was hooked instantly. Since that time I have had to only replace it once, which is pretty much unheard of. The plates are very wide, it only has one setting, and my favorite part of all – it has a comb in the straightener to keep your hair taught. I can’t say enough about this trusty thing – it really is so easy to use and holds up well year after year. The only downside is that you can’t find it in stores – you have to order it online but hopefully this review of it will  give you the push to try it if you are looking for a new straightener. Below is an image of mine but upon looking this up it looks like the exact model might be discontinued or the brand has upgraded their model to the silver one in the link below. I have a smaller version of the one below when I cut my hair short and it works just as well!

Any questions, let me know.

Happy Straightening!


bareMinerals bareskin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation

October 5, 2014

Get this. Immediately.

When I saw ads for this I couldn’t WAIT to try it. I love the original powder foundation but was very interested to see how the company who has built it’s empire on mineral powder products would develop a liquid foundation. Let me tell you – its wonderful! The bottle is smaller than expected and yes you do have to  apply it with the special brush that has hollowed out section where you input the foundation. Here is the thing though – you only use two drops of foundation for every use! That’s it! Totally worth it. You shake the bottle, drop two drops into the brush and then buff into your skin and you’re done. The result is a dewy sheen with medium coverage. I still apply primer and under eye concealer before as well. As far as the feel, its not heavy at all, much like their powder foundation. I still use the line’s Mineral Veil after my blush to soften the edges and have my look appear my air brushed and less make up-y. I would say if you like the line’s original powder foundation or if you use liquid foundation and are looking for a change – definitely try this out. I really think you will be pleased. Also – remember if you purchase at Sephora and you end up hating it, you can always bring it back, receipt or no receipt. If you have tried it, let me know what you think!