Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Cupcake Nails

With all the cupcake nail looks floating around on the internet, I wanted to create my own version of this trend. I used pink, white, other pastels, and lots of “sprinkles” to achieve this look.
I hope you enjoy the photos below! Let me know which nail looks you would like to see next.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

My Top Five Blushes for Summer

During the summer months, I like my skin to look fresh, glowy and effortless. I achieve this look with the following five blushes:
1. MAC Mineralize Blush in Dainty
Dainty has been a long-time favourite of mine. It is perfect for my pale skin tone and it gives my complexion a healthy pink flush with a bit of glow. MAC describes this colour as a “light yellow pink with gold pearl.” I find that this colour is very neutral and flatters my cool toned colouring. Since it is a mineralize blush, it applies very smoothly, even on bare skin, and never looks harsh.
2. Benefit Benetint
On very hot summer days, I like to use a cheek stain that will stay put through heat, humidity, rain, and even sweat. My favourite is Benefit’s Benetint, a rose-tinted cheek and lip stain. It comes in a tiny glass bottle that looks like it could contain nail polish with its round shape and brush applicator. I apply this product by brushing two or three horizontal lines of colour on the apples of my cheeks and then blend with my fingers. It dries fast so I have to work quickly. Once set, it lasts all day. The rosy shade gives my cheeks a healthy just-got-back-from-the-gym flush. Note: in the photo below, it looks like this product may contain a bit of shimmer but it does not. Any little glimmering flecks were left over from previous swatches.

3. Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Dollface
For a long lasting powder blush, I turn to Tarte’s Amazonian Clay line. These blushes stand up to heat and humidity and last well into the evening hours. My favourite summer shade from this line is a light pink called Dollface. For the most part, this shade is matte. I usually stay away from matte blushes because they can look quite flat but this colour gives my cheeks a bright pastel pink glow that really does make my pale skin look porcelain and doll-like. I have found that it is easy to apply too much of this blush and the colour seems to intensify about 10 minutes after application; therefore, I use a soft brush and a light hand when applying Dollface.

4. Pür Minerals Pressed Mineral Blush in Natural Bornite
This blush has been hiding at the back of my makeup collection for a couple years. I discovered it a couple weeks ago and realized that it had never been used. I usually gravitate towards pinks and this nude-ish shade is just not my style…or so I thought. Out of curiosity I applied a bit to my cheeks and it instantly made my skin look healthy and slightly bronzed. Now this product is my secret for adding colour to my cheeks without looking like I am wearing blush. Perfect for those “no makeup” makeup days. Also, it is fairly sheer and blends nicely so there is no risk of applying too much. The matte finish adds to the natural effect that it gives.

5. Benefit Sugarbomb Face Powder
For me, this product serves three purposes; It works as a blush, a cheek highlighter, and a luminous face powder. Most days I dust it over my blush to give my cheeks a bit of sheen. It is never glittery and somehow gives my foundationless complexion a very smooth, airbrushed finish. On days when I don’t wear blush, I still use this to give my cheeks a subtle glow with a bit of colour. The product comes with four shades (coral, light pink, muted plum, peach). When swirled together, the colours produce a shade that is peachy-pink and extremely glowy but never glittery.

What are your favourite blushes for summer?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Today’s Beauty Purchases: Essie Tart Deco and Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips

Every week I go to the Superstore to replenish the household groceries…and sometimes pick up some sushi for dinner. Before going into the Superstore, I stop in Winners which is right next door. If you are unfamiliar with Winners, it is basically the Canadian version of T.J. Maxx (huge discounts on designer beauty products, clothing, shoes, home decor, etc.). My reason for visiting Winners each week is to find a large mirrored tray to store my perfume bottles. I have been on the search for the perfect tray for over a year now. I even tried purchasing one on Etsy but it somehow got lost in the mail on its way here.
Not to my surprise, this week, like every week, Winners only had mirrored trays featuring animal print patterns which are just not my style. As I wandered towards the door in disappointment, the beauty section caught my eye—something was new! For months I have only seen Color Club polishes and lots of OPI crackle polishes but today there were lots of little boxes of the Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips. I have always been hesitant to try this product because the strips are said to last 10 days and I like changing my polish more often than that. However, the main reason why I have not tried them is because they retail for around $11 here—that’s as much as a bottle of Essie polish!
When I looked at the price tag it said $4.99 which is an amazing deal. Most of the designs were Valentine’s Day themed (lots of hearts, xoxo patterns, and “love” stamps). I chose two that weren't too holiday-ish and that could be worn during the summer. Are You Single? is the first one that caught my eye. It’s metallic with beige, purple, and medium pink leaf details that look like hearts. I also liked the pattern of Pink-A-Dot which is as the name describes it with light pink polka dots.
 Are You Single?, Pink-A-Dot, and Tart Deco
After paying for the nail strips, I happily left Winners and entered the Superstore. On my way to the sushi stand, I saw an Essie display with a huge sign saying that select Essie polishes (not including the glitters) were on sale for $7.49. This is very inexpensive considering that the drugstore that I usually shop at sells them for close to $12. I scanned the display and found Tart Deco, a colour that I have been wanting for a really long time. Near the Essie display was a shelf filled with the Sally Hansen nail strips that were being sold for $10.99. Glad that I found mine for less than half the price!
Before finally making my way to the sushi, I went to check out the Joe Fresh Beauty display because lately I have been loving my peach lip stain from this brand and wanted to pick up a few more colours. Sadly, they didn’t seem to have any left, nor was there a spot for them on the display. Have then been discontinued? I hope not.
Overall, I think that my day of shopping was a success. After all, I did not plan on purchasing any beauty products but found some great deals.
Please let me know if you would like to see reviews or nail of the day (NOTD) posts on these products.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Beauty Giveaway!!!!

Hi Everyone!

As you may already know, my blog recently got a makeover. To celebrate the new look, I’m having a beauty giveaway for my followers.

The Prizes (one winner will win all of the following prizes):

How to enter:

1. You must use the Rafflecopter form to enter this giveaway.
2. You must be a follower of this blog in order to be eligible to win the giveaway.
3. You must be at least 18 years of age or have permission from your parents to enter.
4. This giveaway is open internationally.
5. There will be one winner of this giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck to everyone who enters!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

So Lonely in Gorgeous 200 Followers Giveaway!!!!

As you may already know, I will be having a giveaway soon to celebrate the new look of my blog. Until then, why not enter the exciting giveaway being held by So Lonely in Gorgeous?

You can enter here: http://www.solonelyingorgeous.com/2012/06/hosting-my-second-giveaway.html?showComment=1340203160364#c1840784491725556261

Look at the amazing prizes!!!!

giveaway 1giveaway2giveaway3

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

June Glymm Box

This month’s Glymm Box came with another makeup bag, one full sized product, and a few tiny samples.
I found this month’s box a bit disappointing because the full sized product is not something that I will ever use and the amount of product in the other samples is so small that it would be very difficult to determine how well the products work. I think that the makeup bags are nice but I do not want to start collecting too many of them. After all, how many makeup bags does one person need?
For those of you who do not know what Glymm is, it is a service similar to Loose Button, Birchbox, Topbox, Glossy Box, etc. which offers monthly boxes of deluxe size product samples. Current subscription services are $12 monthly, $70 for 6 boxes, and and $120 for 12 boxes (prices include shipping).

Sunday, June 17, 2012

My Blog Got A Makeover!!!!

Have you visited my blog lately and thought to yourself Where am I? This place looks different!?

When I started blogging in February 2011, I had very little design skills and I was not very familiar with the mechanics of the blogger platform. I started out using a very basic template and colour scheme but felt that my blog was not very unique and its design did not represent the content that I was posting. I started admiring the eye catching designs of other beauty blogs and contacted the bloggers to see how and where they got their templates. Some had said that they paid designers to create their templates and others downloaded pre-made designs from free blogger template websites. I decided to go with the latter because, at the time, I was a new blogger and didn’t want to pay for a design in case I realized a few months later that blogging wasn’t for me.

After finding a few good sites with downloadable templates, I searched for anything and everything beauty related. None of the templates seemed to be a perfect fit for my blog but I chose this one because I liked the colour scheme and thought that the not too busy header had a classy look:

blog header

After using the template for a few months, I started experiencing layout problems and didn’t really know how (or if I could) customize the template so that my blog was easy to read and navigate. Also, since I was not making many fashion-related posts, I thought that the shoe icon, though cute, was a bit misleading. The cartoonish looking girl was very fashionable but I started wondering if readers would start associating me, the writer, with her appearance. After all, I really don’t look like her and I wasn’t a fan of her outfit. Nevertheless, I decided that I would just keep using this template until I found one that was more my style…which never ended up happening.

About a year and a half after making my first post, I realized that I still had very little design skills and still was not very familiar with the mechanics of the blogger platform. Once May 2012 began and I had more time for blogging, I thought that it was time to seriously consider a professional blog makeover. I looked online for blog designer companies and asked other bloggers for recommendations. Many of the designers that I found were charging close to $200 for basic services. I thought that this was a bit much and was determined to find someone more affordable.

Late in May, when I was having no luck and was contemplating giving up on the search, I got in touch with the writer of one of my favourite beauty blogs, The Sunday Girl (http://www.thesundaygirl.com/). She told me that her blog was designed by Peaches & Cream Designs (http://peachesandcreamdesigns.blogspot.ca/). I checked out the design company’s site and was pleasantly surprised by their portfolio and also their pricing. They offer individual A La Carte items as well as packages that allow for great discounts. I contacted the company first to ask if what my blog needed was within their services. Also, because I’m not so great with blogger terms, I asked what some of their services (Grab Me Button, for example) entailed. A very kind woman named Ana replied to me very quickly, assuring me that she could help me achieve the blog design that I was looking for. In addition, she sent me examples of the items on her services list so that I could easily determine which ones my blog needed. I knew that this was the designer for me so I filled out an order form which reserved me a spot on June 10.

In the three weeks leading up to the date that my design would begin, I filled out a design questionnaire to communicate to Ana the vision that I had for my blog. She also recommended that I look at other blogs and send her links to the ones that had designs that I liked. Through this process, I discovered that I wanted something classier and easier on the eyes than the harsh colours of my previous template. The black and dark pink were nice but they seemed to take away from the images in my posts. I also wanted something more beauty related and I didn’t want a character to define me…but I wanted there to be a cat of some sort somewhere on the blog (yes, I may be a cat lady). The colour scheme that was common across all the blogs that I liked included light pink, white, and black or grey. For backgrounds, damask patterns repeatedly caught my eye.

I went over all of this with Ana and she started to work promptly on June 10. I was so excited and eager to see what she would create for me. After all, aside from the preferences that I had communicated, I had no idea what she had in mind for the design. Three days later she sent me a test blog that featured the majority of my new template (background, header, navigation bar, etc.). She asked for my feedback and wanted to know if I would like anything changed or moved. I loved everything about it!

Over the next two days, the other details were added such as social networking icons, post icons, and the final and most exciting touch—the cat! Throughout the entire process she always asked for my opinion before making any important additions. By the 15th of June (only 5 days after Ana had started working on my design), the template was ready to be added to my blog. Ana installed everything for me and fixed any lingering problems caused by my old template. She also answered my blogger questions and helped me customize my blog settings.

Overall I had an amazing experience with Peaches & Cream Designs and Ana! I highly recommend this company if you are looking for an affordable designer to give your blog a makeover. I am so happy with the results! Now my blog looks classy and it’s much easier to read. The design reflects the content and allows me to connect the means with the medium which is always a good thing!

What do you think of my new design?

P.S. Stay tuned: I will be having a blog giveaway soon to celebrate the new look!

Friday, June 15, 2012

June Topbox

This month’s Topbox had a good selection of skincare, haircare, and makeup products, and it even included a full sized product for men! It also came with two extra items that were not part of the usual four samples.
For those of you who do not know what Topbox is, it is a service similar to Loose Button, Glymm, Birchbox, Glossybox, etc., which offers monthly boxes of deluxe size product samples. Topbox currently offers its services across Canada for $10 per month with no shipping costs. For more information check out topbox.ca

Monday, June 11, 2012

Minnie Mouse Nails

With summer just around the corner, I’m reminded of the yearly trips that I took to Florida as a child with my family. We always went to Walt Disney World and one of my favourite parts of the trip was getting autographs from the Disney characters that were walking around the park.

So, this summer, I want to remember and relive those Florida vacations of my childhood by creating Disney inspired nail art. My first in the series is Minnie Mouse. With her polka dot attire and warm smile, Minnie was always my favourite character from the Disney gang. The red and white polka dot pattern is the main feature of my Minnie Mouse nail look. I also added a cute, very Minnie-like bow!

I hope that you enjoy the video tutorial and photos below. Don’t forget to leave a comment and tell me which other Disney characters you would like included in the series.

Minnie Mouse Nail Tutorial

*click photos to enlarge*

Saturday, June 9, 2012

NOTD: Zoya Shelby

So far, Shelby is the only colour that I have purchased from Zoya’s Summer 2012 Beach Collection. I love polishes in cream finishes and I seem to gravitate towards pink shades during the warmer months so Shelby is the ideal colour for me from this collection.

Upon application, the polish was a bit streaky. Zoya gives Shelby a 5/5 in terms of opacity but, in my opinion, the somewhat streaky formula brought the level of opacity to around a 3.5. However, after three coats, this polish looked smooth, flawless, and perfectly opaque.

I found that it took a little longer to dry than some of my other Zoyas but had a very shiny finish once it was set even without a top coat. After wearing this shade for over a week, I discovered that the drying time was worth the wait because it took a full seven days for any visible chipping to begin. Normally I change my polish every few days but with Shelby’s gorgeous summer shade and lasting power, I waited nine days before reaching for the remover—a record!

As for the colour, Zoya describes Shelby as a “Soft but colorful cherry blossom pink with an opaque cream finish. A light girly pink with enough tint to keep it from looking pastel or washed out.” I usually consider cherry blossom petals to be much lighter and more comparable to polishes like Something Sweet from China Glaze or Essie’s Fiji. Shelby is definitely girly but, as you can see from the photos below, it is more of a medium Barbie / bubble gum pink than a light pink, and is just a shade darker than OPI’s Shorts Story. I agree with Zoya that there is no way that this colour would look pastel or washed out. It is the perfect complement to bright summer clothing and bare feet—that’s why I put it on my toes too! It makes my pale skin look healthy and glowy even though I don’t have a tan.

Overall, Shelby is a must try for anyone looking for a new favourite summer polish!

*click photos to enlarge*

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Colour Changing Mood Nail Polish Review & Demo

When I was a child, I was fascinated by mood rings. They came in all shapes and sizes and changed colour as your hands turned hot or cold. Now, years later, my fascination has shifted to a different colour changing mood product—nail polish!
Recently I had the opportunity to try a polish from bornprettystore.com that turns from a gorgeous sky blue colour to a springtime purple when it is exposed to hot and cold temperatures  ( http://www.bornprettystore.com/magic-purplesky-blue-color-changing-mood-nail-polish-nail-p-2145.html ). At around $7, this polish is very affordable and, with its colour changing properties, is like purchasing two polishes rather than one. I also have a coupon code that will give you 10% off site wide: BEAUTY4K31
I really enjoyed using this polish. The colour change is very noticeable and happens quickly. I think that summer is the perfect time of year to try out this polish because the colour changing effect will happen when you jump into the pool and then again when you dry off in the sun.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Mod Nail Look

Inspired to paint my nails using only black and white polishes, I created this Mod Nail Look. To achieve this look, I used a freehand reverse (half moon) French manicure technique and added geometric shapes using my Konad stamping nail art kit.

Check out the video tutorial to see how I created this look:

Mod Nail Tutorial

*click photos to enlarge*