New Nails for Spring...


It's no secret that pastels are always popular trends in Spring collections, but this year, I'm especially loving the light, bright pinks and corals for the upcoming season. Essie has always been a favorite brand of mine, but I've been especially loving it over the past few months. I picked up a few colors from their Spring collection (which I'm definitely going to add to soon!) as well as a new MAC shade.

First, my favorite...
Essie Tart Deco
This is by far one of the best nail polishes I've came across in a very long time. The color, the formula... everything. It's a bit more orange than it actually photographed. When I paint my nails, I like to build the color in thin coats. A lot of the time, nail polish formulas will let me down and it makes me have to glob on too much because it's thin and streaky. With this one, it applies evenly and opaque with one thin coat. If you were in a hurry, you could probably get away with one coat. But with two, it builds to a gorgeous, even peach color that is bright and creamy pastel at the same time. Love it.
When I bought this, I thought the color in the bottle looked a bit too similar to MAC's Coconut Ice, which I was wearing on my nails at the time. I almost didn't buy it. I am SO glad I did, because these two colors are so very different. ...and honestly, the MAC formula in that shade sucks and just doesn't compare to Essie's Tart Deco.

MAC Coconut Ice
In the bottle, it's an absolutely gorgeous shade. This one is a bit more pink and the color isn't as intense. However the formula is not great. Thin and very streaky, which at this point I kind of always expect from MAC nail polish. But it's a nice color, so when I actually have the time and patience to apply 3 coats, I'll reach for it again. In the picture, I had done two generous coats.

And last, another shade from Essie's Spring collection. Honestly, when I saw the collection advertised in magazines and even in the store when I saw them in person, I wanted this color the most! I'm constantly looking for a nice light, bright, OPAQUE, cream (no frost) pink.

Essie Pop Art Pink
...and after trying this, I'm still looking. I'm disappointed in this one because it's much more sheer than I expected. And I love Essie, but lets just be honest... Do they really need ANOTHER sheer pink? It seems they have an endless range of this exact shade already. So I don't quite get it. You can see how sheer it is in the pictures, and that is with 2 *very* generous coats. It's definitely a shade I'll use when I want a sheer pink and natural look. But I've already got a few of those already, so I was just a little disappointed.

With that being said, I would love for you guys to recommend good pinks to me- Ones that look similar to the shade of this one, but is more opaque. What are your favorite pinks?



Flirty Pink Valentine's Day Makeup

Products Used:
Urban Decay Primer Potion
Urban Decay Cream Shadow in Sphynx (shimmery light pink)
MAC eye shadow in Sweet Lust (shimmery frosted light pink)
MAC eye shadow in Passionate or Post Haste (dark matte hot pink)
MAC eye shadow in Soft Brown (medium matte warm brown)
MAC eye shadow in Grain (shimmery nude)
Bare Escentuals Buxom Lashliner in Leatherette (black cream liner)
Covergirl Lashblast Mascara
MAC Creamblend blush in So Sweet, So Easy- on lips & cheeks (soft pink)
NARS Turkish Delight gloss (soft pink cream)
MAC Pinch O' Peach powder blush (medium pink)


My Favorite Products to Remove Makeup

Removing makeup is a very important (often skipped my many) step in the whole skincare process. When you find products that work for your skin and your lifestyle, your skin will definitely thank you for taking this extra step! :)
Here are some of my favorite products for makeup removal

Makeup wipes: INVENTED BY GOD. Quick. Simple. Effective. Best part is that you don't have to rinse anything off. If you're tired at night or in a hurry, you can skip cleansing all together as well! Just be sure to store them upside down so the one you grab will always be the most moist!

MAC Wipes:
In my opinion, a little more moist and abrasive than typical makeup wipes. Be careful with these if you have sensitive skin and be gentle with them around the eye area. I especially love that they come in a bulk size so you have to repurchase less often.

Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes "Night Calming" formula:
These are great-- They smell amazing, leave minimal residue behind, and will take off everything. The cloths are very soft and smooth and the formula is very non-irritating.

: Quite scary to those of us who are prone to breaking out when we use products that contain oils. But they can be very effective. Just stay away from those that contain mineral oil.

MAC Cleanse-Off Oil:
This stuff is amazing. It really is effective in removing everything, however, it takes a bit of time to use.
Use it on dry skin with dry hands and massage it all over your face and eyes. Then, add some water to your hands and mix that with the product. This will help it break down the makeup even better and rinse off clean. You can even add a little more to wet hands and the product will become very thin and turn milky white. You can use it this way as well to get an even cleaner feel. There's no need to use a washcloth to rinse. I've experienced zero breakouts during the 3 weeks of using this stuff. I'm hooked.

Gel/Cream Removers:

I haven't tried many actual cream products, other than traditional cold cream which makes me break out a little, but I have found one awesome gel-cream formula that I LOVE.

Estee Lauder Take it Away Gel/Cream makeup remover
During college, there was a time where I used this for about three years consistently. It's a very clean feeling and fresh-smelling gel/cream that you massage all over your skin. It's safe for use around your eyes too. It's a little hard to rinse off with water alone, so a warm washcloth is the way to go. If used every night, one bottle will last you about 2 months.

Check out my video on this topic:


Megan Fox/ Warm n' Cozy Inspired Bronze Smokey Eye

Products Used:
Benefit F.Y.Eye primer
MAC Gentle Lentil Shadestick (dark frosted brown)
MAC Bronze eye shadow
MAC Woodwinked eye shadow
MAC Chamomile eye shadow
Bare Escentuals Buxom Lash liner in Leatherette
Laura Mercier thickening mascara
MAC False lashes #7
MAC So Ceylon MSF (bronze)
MAC Blonde MSF (shimmery pink highlight)
MAC Nymphette lipglass (pink with bronze-gold shimmer)

*Sorry guys, YT decided that my video somehow violated a copyright law and it was disabled. Although nothing in the video was remotely owned by anyone else. All my video clips and pictures. The inspiration picture of Megan Fox was not even in the video. Oh well. I'm sorry that happened! At least you can still see pictures and products here for this particular look :)


Tips for Your Most Perfect Eyebrows! A Complete (lengthy) Guide.

I get asked about my eyebrows a lot so I figured I'd compile a little helpful post full of tips and good products to use when doing your brows. Whether you're maintaining their shape or enhancing them with makeup products, hopefully you'll find this helpful!

to start, a little history:
First off, I don't consider mine "perfect" by any means. But I will say that I do consider myself somewhat knowledgeable about eyebrows. I've been dealing with mine for most of my life. As a child with naturally dark hair and even darker (and thicker) eyebrows, you can imagine how difficult some of my elementary years were as an 11 year old battling a uni-brow...lol. But seriously, over the years I've had some really interesting brow mishaps. From discovering the wonder that is tweezers, to abusing that luxury and over plucking the you-know-what out of them. So basically, my knowledge and tips come purely from my years and years of mistakes in the past. I've learned what works and what doesn't and luckily, in my college years, finally figured out how to maintain them in a way that worked for my face.

Now keep in mind, eyebrows are a tricky business. Remember that everyone's preferences are different when it comes to brows. Everyone has a slightly different natural shape and arch to theirs. Which brings me to my first tip:

1. Go with what nature intended. Play up your natural arch and brow shape. If you don't have a very "arched" natural arch, don't force it. It will never look smooth or natural and you'll be stuck maintaining them like CRAZY. If you "clean up" your natural shape, it will be much more flattering to your face.

Also consider the length of your actual arch. While it shouldn't extend too far down your brow bone, tweezing or waxing them off too short can really throw off the proportion and balance of your face. Trust me, I've been there... to both extremes.

2. Don't overpluck the "tail" of your brows. Use the little trick I mentioned and demonstrated in my video (watch it below) to find the perfect stopping point for your particular face.

So you went to Target and saw the most amazing little mirror that allowed you to see every single hair on your face. As grossed-out as you were, for some reason you bought it. Yep, been there too. It's tempting, and trust me, for YEARS I thought this was the ONLY way to pluck my brows. Looking back at myself in pictures during this time really proved this next tip. Thank GOD I lost that mirror. Because I'd probably still be using it and my eyebrows would be 1/4 their size.

3. Don't pluck with a magnifying mirror. Ever. Seems like a great idea, and it makes seeing the hair so much easier, but if you need a 10x magnifying mirror to see the hair, you don't need to pluck it. Unless you have serious vision issues, you don't need one of these ever.

4. If you are unsure about tweezing a certain hair, just don't do it. Chances are, if you can't decide if it really needs to go, it doesn't. Plucking just one hair can leave a gap or mess with the shape of your brows.

5. Only trim if necessary. I could type a lengthy how-to about this, but just use my demonstration in the video to help you. There are some some very important things to remember when doing this.

6. If your brows look uneven (I've been there MANY times), DON'T pluck the one that appears larger in order to make it match the smaller one. Chances are, you'll end up with not one, but two over-plucked brows. Just fill-in the area of the "smaller" one that appears not to match the other. Even them up with a brow pencil or eyeshadow while that area grows out.

7. If you've over-plucked or over-trimmed in any way, put the tweezers down and step AWAY from the mirror. Trust me, a few weeks of letting them grow back out will be worth it. During that time, just wear some large sunglasses. But seriously, you can grow them out without looking grizzly. This doesn't mean you have to neglect the obvious re-growth that shouldn't be there. AKA hair in the uni-brow area or hair that is far above or below the natural arch. Just leave the hair to grow right around the natural shape you want.

So what the heck do I do now that they've grown out?
8. To get the shape you want, whether you've grown out an over-plucked situation and need to start fresh, or you just want to do something with your brows for the first time, I'd strongly suggest going to a reputable salon to get them waxed. Tell them not to go overboard and bring pictures if you want. Just be realistic and choose pictures of brows that are similar to your natural arch and shape.

9. After you've gotten your perfect shape, you can maintain them yourself! As they grow back, you'll notice the shorter hairs that had been waxed (or plucked) from before. Tweeze ONLY those. Don't get happy and tweeze any longer hairs.

10. NEVER and I mean NEVER use one of those "eyebrow razors". Invented by the devil. I mean seriously, why market such a thing? Definitely not a precise tool. Plus, any hair that is growing in a large enough area where you'd need to use a razor should probably be waxed. Trust me. It will last longer and look a lot better. If you take a razor to any area around your brows, you're just asking for a mishap. Plus it looks like stubble when it grows back which is just weird looking in the eyebrow area. ...well, any area really.

11. When filling them in, use less product than you think. It's easy to go overboard here. Also, use a product a little lighter than you'd think you'd need. For example, my eyebrows are very dark brown, almost black hairs. If I used a dark brown, almost black product to fill them, even if I tried to use a light hand, the result would be a bit.... Groucho.... you get the picture.
...not a good look for a female. Or a male, really. Trust me, at some point, I've probably been here too. Eyebrows I mean.... yeah.

Also, don't forget to comb back through them with a spoolie-type brush after filling just to blend any products you've used. Makes them look a bit more natural as well.

Products I mentioned in the video:
Tweezerman Tweezers
Sonia Kashuk "spoolie brush" or MAC (or any brand) disposable mascara wands
B Beaute brow shaping scissors (Ulta sells them)
Maybelline Define-A-Brow pencil (Medium Brown for me) or MAC Eye Brows pencils
MAC #208 brush (angled brush)
Folie eye shadow (may not work for you--remember to use a color a little lighter than your brow color)
Maybelline Great Lash Clear Mascara (awesome cheap brow gel)
*MAC and other brands also make colored brow gels to save a few steps. Be careful with these-- A mascara wand is not the most precise tool so they can look quite scary if they smear on the skin outside the brow shape. Also, if you get them too light, they look crusty on your brows... ew. If you find a shade in the exact color of your brows, they can look harsh. So understand that there may not be a perfect shade for you in those products. There isn't for me! Or at least I haven't found one yet.

Happy grooming!