My Secret to a Week-ish Long Manicure

Monday, August 12, 2013

revlon base coat, top coat, butter london p d quick

No, not really a secret. The title just sounded better that way.

I have some groundbreaking discoveries: I believe I have found the perfect formula of base + top coats resulting in the most long lasting manicures that have ever graced my hands. Truth be told, I was getting pretty tired of my nails chipping by day 2 after putting a whole lot of effort into painting them! Also, I rarely get manicures done. Aside from the occasional need for extra maintenance, they are not worth the cash. Take care of your hands + use good products + build up some painting skills = save money.

With the following three products, I've found my nails looking fully presentable throughout the entire work week, leaving me ready for a new manicure by the weekend. It's really surprising how I no longer need a mid-week manicure (something I despise doing after a long, busy work day). Nowadays I'll get an occasional teeny tiny chip due to a rigorous round of dishes or from picking at something with my nails - but that's the least of my worries.

Products Used:
Revlon Colorstay Longwear Nail Enamel Base Coat
This stuff is the best. I think it's the true glue to keeping on a solid manicure. I've used a bunch of different base coats and I've only received the most long lasting results with this one. I love that it's cheap and readily available at the drugstore. I know there's another Revlon Nail Enamel line but I'd stick with Revlon Colorstay. It's so good. You can usually get an even better value during a BOGO or BOGO 1/2 Off sale.

Revlon Colorstay Gel-Shine Top Coat
I've never believed in using two top coats until incorporating this into my manicure routine. This goes on right after I'm done painting the color on. You see, this is not a quick dry top coat. It will, however, give your nails this really awesome gel looking finish - just like it says. It seals in the color and smooths everything out. While my nails look good as-is right here, this isn't the last step...

Butter London P.D. Quick Top Coat
This is a great quick dry top coat. I love myself some Seche Vite (the "god" of quick dry top coats) but it has toluene which is kind of sad because so many nail polish companies are 3-free and beyond at this point. Anyways, Butter London's a great 3-free option. This is the one step that I think is loosely interchangeable. In a pinch, I've used another quick dry top coat along with the Revlon products and still had great results. Just to be consistent, I have been using the Butter London one as my dedicated choice for the last step. It provides shine that lasts for days and it really does help my nails dry faster.

Now that I've shared my favorite nail polish basics, what are yours? Have you tried these products and if so, what did you think?

Over at We Heart This...

Monday, August 5, 2013

stacking rings on we heart this

As if you didn't know already, it's quite obvious that I am obsessed with wearing, collecting and blogging about jewelry. I recently shared my favorite and affordable rings over at We Heart This! You can follow this link if you're interested in checking that out. Everything I picked out is $50 and under, enough to make both you and your wallet smile. Enjoy!

Clean Your Face: a LUSH review

Friday, August 2, 2013

LUSH 9 to 5 and Tea Tree Toner review

LUSH is a tricky subject for me. I've been purchasing LUSH products for a while and frankly, it's quite the vicious cycle with this brand. Said cycle: a handful of repeat favorites mixed with a lot of tossed rejects. Right now, if you take a peek into my bathroom you'll see a LOT of LUSH. I get into weird phases where I'll read about certain products on another blog and go wild on my lunch break. You know exactly what I'm talking about. So this review is a result of a bit of that madness.

LUSH 9 to 5 cleanser review

LUSH 9 to 5 Cleansing Lotion
I am close to running out of my beloved Bioderma and was looking around at my options for a pre-cleanse face makeup remover. Bioderma is becoming bit expensive so I've made the conscious decision to reserve that for eye makeup removal only. This 9 to 5 stuff seemed pretty cool. It's made for lazy - I mean "busy" - people. People who don't like to take the time to remove their makeup. If you asked me, there's always time to remove gunk off your face, but anyways...

You use it by smothering it all over your face and wiping it away with a cotton pad (if you're strapped for time) or by washing it off. I chose to do latter, with my normal cleanser and water. It's made with dove orchid extract and almond oil as its key ingredients along with a bunch of other things. The texture is milky and not oily at all. I really wanted to like this because it smells absolutely amazing. I've read reviews on this where people actually complain that it smells old lady-like! Well I guess an old lady is what I am because I'm in love with the scent. I disagree on the granny front, but I feel a reverse reaction: it's highly reminiscent of those lightly floral scented dolls and toys I used to play with when I was younger. Is this the case for anyone else?

So I thought my cleansing method was a success: I would massage 9 to 5 in for a while, clean it off with soap and water and then wipe some toner on, hopefully not leaving a trace of anything behind. Unfortunately something's gone wrong because I was left with some stray cystic zits that were gone like magic once I stopped using this product. I gave it a solid two weeks and I think it's enough time to say it's not for me. Love the smell, hate the zits.

LUSH Tea Tree Toner review

LUSH Tea Tree Water Toner
This is one of those aforementioned repeat purchases. If you want to try a LUSH face product without having to proceed with caution, their toners are pretty harmless. The are mainly used to freshen up or in my case, wipe  I'm a fan of their Breath of Fresh Air toner, and had just run out, but I needed something else for my sad, clogged summer skin. The Tea Tree Water toner fit the bill because helloooo - tea tree. I use it mainly to remove any excess product that may still be left on my face after cleaning it, both morning and night. I love the spray bottle. This toner isn't a miracle worker and by all means a necessity. It just helps my skin feel cleaner. Also, if it can assist my pores in any way during my very least favorite season, then okay - I'm in! This can be drying so I'll be switching out of it once fall rolls around.

Have you tried and loved (or hated) any LUSH products lately?

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