Friday, September 28, 2012

Beauty School: Perfect Mani

I love a gel manicure like everyone else, but my bank account sure doesn't. I know, I know, in the grand scheme of things it *looks* like you're saving money. Maybe the gel will last three full weeks without fail. But you know what simply does not last three weeks? My patience. I need the color to change after a few days, but I still want my nails to look perfect until I'm ready for the color change. Too good to be true? Nope...these three products are just the ticket:

Orly Bonder Base Coat ($10) This rubberized base coat is essential. It coats the bare nail with a tough, sticky surface that grabs hold of the color and keeps it there until you're ready to take it off. I find Orly products at CVS and Walgreens, but find the best prices at Ulta.

The Balm Cosmetics Hot Ticket Nail Polish ($10) This is not a brand I typically investigate, but I received this item in a beauty box a few months back and have fallen in love. This polish goes on smooth, opaque, and with enough density to stay on for many days. While I don't think this particular polish is essential, this brand does work far better with the other too products in keeping polish on for 7+ days. You can find these online and at Nordstrom.

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Top Coat ($8) I love nearly all Sally Hansen nail products, but this top coat takes the cake. Nails look shiny, dry quick, and simply do.not.chip. It's affordable and easily found...even at the grocery store! 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Holy Grail Status: Powder Blush Faves

Blush is one of those products I can not get enough of. If someone (god forbid) forced me to wear only three products for the rest of my life blush would be one of them (as would concealer and mascara, but that comes later). It's tricky though, you can't just pick a color based on what you think will look nice. You have to feel the product. Does it have shimmer? Glitter or matte? Blue or orange undertones? How is it milled? The four gems below are perfect products. They run the gamut on variables, but each one plays an essential role in my collection. I would suggest collecting each one of won't be disappointed!

Benefit Hervana (top left): I bought this beauty the day it came out. I love all the boxed powders, but this is especially versatile. All four tones look incredible swirled together for subtle glow, but a little goes a long way. It's a buildable blush, so start light and build into your look. It also smells nice....bonus!

MAC Well Dressed (top right): A true baby pink, this is my "what am I doing with my face today?" blush. It's subtle, mostly matte, and so finely milled that blending is a no brainer. It goes with everyone and everything. Enough said.

Nars Orgasm (bottom left): I know, I know...everyone loves this blush. It's the most over discussed product in the entire beauty world, BUT that's because it's incredible. Peachy pink, golden shimmer. This is the perfect glowy number for Wintertime. January skin has met it's match...if you don't own this go get it. Seriously.

MAC Mineralized Blush in Gentle (bottom right): My friend Sam wore this everyday for about 5 months before I finally asked what it was. It's the color of a raisin in the pan, but on the skin it's a multifaceted, cool mauve with very fine flecks of glitter. It looks insane in combination with a good bronzer and it's ideal for evening looks.