I’m Alive! (Kinda, Sorta) & Confessions of a Beauty Blogger Tag

I went out Friday night with a bunch of my friends, did NOT get obliterated, and ended up with a nasty cold. I was just hoping that being in the 30+ club and drinking several cocktails were the reasons behind feeling like garbage all day yesterday, but by 5 AM when I woke up unable to breathe from my nose, I knew a cold had made it into my body. Since I can’t test any new make-up today (except the jar of Vaseline that I am applying to lips and outside my nose with a Q-Tip), I decided to catch up on my reading and discovered a Confession of a Beauty Blogger Tag on Nicole’s Beauty Blog. She does excellent tutorials, so read her blog! http://niicolea.wordpress.com/

❤ Skincare:

How many times you wash your face daily?
I wash in the morning when I first get up and in the shower at night with a Clarisonic brush. I also remove my eye make-up and wipe down my face with a Simple cleansing cloth when I get home from work.
What skin type do you have?
In the summer I am straight up oily. In the colder months, I am more combination.
What is your current facial wash?
I wash with Cetaphil in the morning and Sebamed in the evening.
Do you exfoliate?
Yes- at least twice a week.
What moisturizer are you using?
I am currently using Tarte’s Marajuca Oil and I love it.
Do you use eye cream?
I love Clinique Repairwear Eye Cream. I think it works the best.
Do you or did you have acne prone skin?
When I was maybe 11-12, I had some skin troubles but now, I usually only deal with blackheads.

❤ Makeup:

Cosmetics

Cosmetics (Photo credit: My Sight, as You See.)

What foundation do you use?
In the summer I use Bare Minerals foundation in Medium. I am currently using Missha’s BB Cream in #13.
How about concealer?
I use Rimmel’s Hide the Blemish concealer. I like it because I am prone to a little redness.
Do you know your undertone colour?
Ugh. Sometimes I think I am cool, other times warm.
What do you think of fake eyelashes?
I love the look but not for everyday. I like them for a night out.
What brand of mascara do you use?
I switch it up. I really like Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara.
Sephora or MAC?
I love Sephora and since they carry a lot of different brands, I usually go there. MAC makes great products, too!
Do you have a MAC Pro-card?
No. I’m not  a pro- I just like to play with make-up!
Do you use makeup base/primer for the eyes?
I love, love, love NYX HD Eye Primer. It really is the best I have ever used and very inexpensive.
For the face?
I like Too Faced Poreless Primer. I can even use it alone.
What is your favorite eyeshadow? (colour or shade?)
I tend to use grey or charcoal. I also like other neutrals that have a little bit of shimmer.
Do you use pencil or liquid eyeliner?
I use pencils.
What’s your favorite lipstick?
Sephora’s Rouge Cream is excellent for the price. I love Hot Tango and Sexy Game.
Do you like drugstore makeup?
Yes! There are so many things to try!
Did you ever consider taking makeup classes?
I really should.
Name a makeup crime that you hate?
Dark lip liner with light lipstick. I did that in high school and it needs to go away.
Which celebrity always has great makeup?
I like Emma Stone- always classic.

English: Emma Stone at the 2011 San Diego Comi...

English: Emma Stone at the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con International (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you could leave the house using just one makeup item, what would you use?
Mascara because I always carry lip balm and lip balm doesn’t count!
Could you ever leave the house without any makeup?
Yes. I do it quite a bit.
What do you think of makeup? Make-up is a great way to enhance and have fun. I also find that it can have an affect on attitudes.

❤Blogging:
How many hours a week do you spend writing/editing posts?
I try to write at least an hour a day sometimes less. I have a hectic job and lead a very busy life!
When is it easiest for you to blog?
I tend to blog in the evening after dinner.
What makes writing behind the computer comfortable for you?
It’s fast and I can multi-task.
How long does it take for you to prep a post?
Not very long. I usually write cold and have an idea what I am going to do in advance and take my photos before so they are ready.
Who is a blogger that you read who deserves more readers?
I really enjoy LoveYourLipGloss.com- she is a real make-up artist that is funny and honest. I also enjoy a bunch of blogs and you should check my page to see whom I follow!

My bodacious beauty bloggers- I tag YOU! Get to it!

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

From Deutschland, With Love (& Lindz!)

You've got mail!

You’ve got mail!

Saturday morning I was leaving for work and I discovered in the vestibule mail basket a bright yellow box. Could it be? I thought to myself. I picked up the box and my package for my swap with Lindz, the girl behind the glasses from GirlIntheGlasses.com, had arrived! I was so excited and torn. I needed to get to work and I knew  there were things in that box that I had yet to ever see in this world. I sighed, ran back into the apartment with the box, put it on the dining room table, and pretty much had my husband push me out the door and lock me out of the house. (I mean, I had my keys.)

When I got back home a few hours later, I sat at the table and got my scissors. I gently cut the tape at the seams and…

How many licks does it take to get the stamps on a package to the USA?

How many licks does it take to get the stamps on a package to the USA?

the first thing I noticed was the postcard with a sausage. Lindz explained that it is a picture of a “Coburger Bratwurst” that must be eaten with mustard or terrible things will happen. Well, terrible things wouldn’t really happen, but I would not be willing to take the risk. Underneath the postcard (and the lovely note!), there were real Haribo Gummy Bears and though we can get them here, the package is in German which automatically makes them better. (You’ll understand more about my theory later.) Of course, there were more delights, like a Milka bar that looks like it is white and milk chocolate, and yogurt gummies that really smelled like yogurt when I opened the bag. These fall in my category of “strangely delicious” which is a compliment in my book. I started with “strangely delicious” a few years ago when I visited Brazil and had all sorts of different, interesting, and delicious snacks.

Mmmmm.... CANDY!

Mmmmm…. CANDY!

Thank you for your patience while I attack my yogurt gummies… Okay, you’ve been patient. I’ll start with the body and skin care products and move onto cosmetics. First up, Weleda Pomegranate Regenerating Body Oil. I swear, Lindz is a mind reader. I’ve been using a gel baby oil after my showers and also have the Caudalie body oil, which is great, but I love to switch it up.  The Weleda oil has a faint scent and I like that it won’t clash with my perfume. This product is for skin renewal and if I am getting ready for warmer weather, this may just do the trick!

Up next is Weleda Sea Buckthorn body lotion. My rudimentary German helped me along with Google translate. It seems more like a body milk and has a light, fruity smell. It reminds me of tangerine or even the Body Shop‘s satsuma.

Lindz also sent me two lip balms. I love European lip balm and Lindz explained that Labello is the same as Nivea. I could not wrap my head around that idea. She sent along chamomile and calendula Labello. I bought my first Labello in Rome and got this flavor and loved it because it reminded me of a cup of tea! Just the scent brought back memories of a fun trip. She also sent Balea Young lip balm in Cherry Dream, which is slightly mentholated. There was a balm I used as a kid, Cherry Ice (I think), and it totally reminds me of my youth. I have to try it out!

Body, hands, lips!

Body, hands, lips!

The last is a giant tube of Kamill Hand and Nail Cream with Balsam. My hands take a daily beating (I’m just a beast) and get very dry in the winter so I can’t wait to try this out.

Now, there are more products to list, that will probably follow with reviews. So let me stop here and within the next few days, I will finish up!

Again, a special thanks to Lindz of Girl in the Glasses for sending me these fantastic goodies! You should check out her blog at http://girlintheglasses.com/ AND “like” her on Facebook!

Keep Calm and Primp On! XOXO

Lovely Lady of Literature #1

Hello, my darlings! Hope all is well. With the weekend coming up, I decided to suggest you do some reading. And no, I am not talking about any shade of gray. I recently read the book Descendent, by L.J. Amodeo. I will admit, I know L.J. and kind of harassed her so I could read the pre-edited version. SHE LET ME! I immediately was sucked into the story of Elizabeth, a young woman gifted with the ability to hear those in the other world. Here is the blurb from Amazon:

Seventeen-year-old Elizabeth Anne Morgan is no stranger to the paranormal world. Haunted by voices and visions for most of her young life, she begins to question her sanity as a teen, setting her apart as an outcast in school. In quatrains and sacred manuscripts, a Chosen One is prophesied, yet Elizabeth does not know she is the descendant of the holiest woman who ever walked the earth. The whispers and cries, meant for her mind only, are those of lost souls pleading to be liberated by the true holder of the key. In her senior year of high school, Elizabeth meets two new strangers, both who know her secret and who turn her world upside down. Meanwhile, her only friend Freddie, loyal, devoted and secretly in love with her, stands quietly in the shadows of her life as she begins to unfold the mystery of who she is destined to become.

The gorgeous cover! This book should be on your shelf!

The gorgeous cover! This book should be on your shelf!

Of course I had to get the edited version once it was available for my Kindle and I read it again and TOTALLY DID NOT MIND! In fact, once I finished… ugh!!! Hurry up, L.J., I need a sequel. Some parts of the book involve some fantastic fashionable moments and so, as the PH, I needed to so do Elizabeth’s make-up.

Cover of "Kindle Wireless Reading Device,...

My nails never look this good.Cover via Amazon

Elizabeth is a good person that suffers with the feeling of being alone. I imagine her as fair, with light, curly hair. She complains about her hair, so after washing she should apply some Quidad Climate Control Anti Heat and Humidity Gel. A scrunch here and there and she is done. Since she is only 18, Elizabeth probably has a few skin blemishes and is probably a bit oily. Bare Minerals Original SPF 15 Foundation in Fairly Light will cover imperfections and provides sun protection while keeping oil at bay.

I can’t imagine Elizabeth has a lot of time to do her make-up, so Maybelline’s Eye Studio Color Tattoo 24 HR Cream Gel Shadow in Bad to the Bronze is good for day when applied with a light hand.  Pomegranate Punk is a plum-pink shade that would work great for evenings. These eye shadows are fabulous because you don’t need to use a primer. For her lashes, she of course needs to first curl with her Shu Uemura eyelash curler and apply Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara. One coat creates tons of fringe! To highlight her pretty features, Elizabeth could use Sephora’s Nano Eye pencil in Pure Beige. She can add some to the corners of her eyes and how her brow bones so she looks lit from within.

Eyelash curler

Curly lashes to match curly hair! Eyelash curler (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Elizabeth needs a rosy glow, too. Those Upstate New York winters can make you so pale! I think NARS Orgasm blush would do the trick. A cult product, it adds a flush with a little bit of gold shimmer. For her lips, Elizabeth needs to carry any Burt’s Bees lip balm. For every day wear, Sephora’s Rouge Cream Lipstick in Decollete, a warm pinkish beige is perfect. For a night on the town or on a hot date (just wait until you read!) Sephora’s Rouge Cream Lipstick in Hot Tango, a bright pink red, will make her sizzle.

Kissed by an angel.

Kissed by an angel- this is Hot Tango.

As a final touch, I would lend Elizabeth a spritz or two of my Byredo Seven Veils perfume. (I needed a Biblical reference somewhere!) Seven Veils has top notes of carrot and pimento Berries, a heart of Tahitian vanilla flower, Laurier rose, glycine, tiger orchid, and a base of sandalwood and vanilla bean.

Perfume in the Biblical sense.

Perfume in the Biblical sense.

With this in Elizabeth’s arsenal, she will be ready to conquer the world!

L.J. has a contest on GoodReads now. You can win an autographed copy by entering her contest on GoodReads. The giveaway is open to US, CA, and GB residents.

http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/42100?utm_medium=api&utm_source=giveaway_widget

AND… if you can’t wait you can download Descendent by L.J. Amodeo on Amazon.com or on BarnesandNoble.com! You will not be disappointed!

http://www.amazon.com/Descendant-ebook/dp/B009SFE7T8/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1358372518&sr=8-4&keywords=descendant

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/descendant-lj-amodeo/1113529236?ean=2940015493047

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

Oh Ipsy!

It’s that time of the month again! Well, that time of the month, too, but I am talking about my Ipsy delivery. I really enjoy getting my Ipsy shipments and this month, though it is different from the usual, my package was pretty sweet.

I love this!

I love this!

I always start by looking at the front of the postcard. I try not to look at the back with the coupon codes because I don’t want to spoil the fun. Oh! If you haven’t gotten your Ipsy shipment yet, read no further. This post is a total spoiler.

Deep in the metallic pink package is a make-up nag and...

Deep in the metallic pink package is a make-up bag and…

I received four beauty products and one make-up brush. I will start with hair and body, then get onto face and nails.

-Sexy Hair Big Sexy Hair Spray & Play Volumizing Hairspray: According to Sexy Hair’s website, this won three awards in 2011. Apparently, it is a “flexible, working hairspray that gives incredible lift, volume, and shine.” I am not anti-hairspray but since I am a curly headed woman, I find I rarely need volume. I have a few hairsprays in my toiletry cabinet and I rarely ever use them and keep  them there for preserving roses and those moments I need extra hold. Since it is travel size, I will keep it for future trips. ($17.50 US on Ulta.com)

Hair and body... or just a body with hair? I don't know.

Hair and body… or just a body with hair? I don’t know.

-Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange Body Butter: Oooooh! I love Pacifica products. They make off the beaten path scents at very reasonable prices.  Pacifica describes the fragrance as a “delectable blend, juicy and spicy, Blood Orange is offset with subtle strawberry and raspberry notes and grounded in fleshy mandarin and Italian sweet orange.” This body butter reminds me of a trip I took to Rome many moons ago. I drank blood orange juice every morning and Tropicana just doesn’t cut it for me anymore. The texture of the body butter is also smooth and it isn’t terribly thick which is great in the summer. Tuscan Blood Orange also happens to be Pacifica’s Fragrance of the Month and  the value collection set is $30. I also want to check out their mineral make-up. (2.5 oz tube $7 US)

Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil (.17 fl. oz.): Funny I should get this in my Ipsy box. Someone at work was asking me about Moroccan Oil/ Argan Oil today. It just so happened that a good friend and colleague lived in Morocco for some time and explained that the tree is really more like a thorny shrub and that goats climb the Argan trees. Cool little factoid- who said beauty blogs weren’t educational? I have been using Argan oil for about a year and a half and I really like what it does for my hair. A 1.7 oz. bottle of Josie’s oil is… $48 US! I find that to be way too pricey so I did my research. John Masters Organics Argan oil is $38 US for 2 oz. A bigger bottle for less money is always the way to go. I happen to use John Masters and it does the trick.

A brush that conceals my secrets.

A brush that conceals my secrets.

-London SoHo New York Concealer Brush: I am a brush hoarder and I try to weed out ones that are old and give away brushes that are gently used, unless I really love the brush. I wash my brushes every week and replace with ones in my stash. This concealer brush has an ergonomic design and is a member of the Get a Grip brush line. I will give it a go soon. If I don’t write about that just means it is average. ($7.99 US)

Nailtini Nail Lacquer in Bloody Mary: Nailtini wants you to shake up and mix their colors together. I have received Nailtini in another Ipsy box and it worked well. Bloody Mary is true, bright red. Who doesn’t need red nail polish?

I like Bloody Mary.

I like Bloody Mary.

And here is a picture of the other side of the postcard and the cosmetics bag that my goods came in.

Discounts are in the bag!

Discounts are in the bag!

And finally a shot of all the products sent to me by Ipsy. So much better than the paltry contents of the Birch Box I got.

Lots of stuff!

Lots of stuff!

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

I Feel Like I Should Post SOMETHING…

I feel like a whiny teenager. I’m going to get TMI here- I have cramps. Ugh. I hate cramps. Not such a terrible TMI but more than you needed to know. I’m also feeling kind of punchy. Pardon the bad attitude. It has been a day…

I found this on google images and it's from myspace. Myspace still exists?

I found this on google images and it’s from myspace. Myspace still exists?

Moving along- I just wanted to fill you in on some of the things I am currently using, whether it be day or night. I know I posted a few of my staples in my previous post but I am so lazy right now, I won’t even take pictures myself. Yesterday, I went to the salon (Studio 19 in Brooklyn if you must know) for a dye job and a hacking haircut. It had been seven weeks since my last visit and I got yelled at by my aunt. (Yes, she works there.) Of course, silvery hairs had sprouted here and there and my curls needed to be bush whacked. I went a little redder and she didn’t take off much length and gave my hair a much needed shaping. And this long winded story leads me to tell you about a few hair must haves.

Before

Before

Quidad CURL QUENCHER HYDRAFUSION INTENSE CURL CREAM: A fellow curly haired friend and I switch products a lot or just give them to each other if they just don’t work for us. She gave me this cream and though her curls are probably tighter than mine, my hair is shorter and has a few banana ringlets (it’s ridiculous.) I’ve been using it and I really like how it works when mixed with my favorite gel, Quidad CLIMATE CONTROL HEAT & HUMIDITY GEL. I don’t get paid by Quidad and they never sent me stuff to review but I have been buying this gel for almost six years and I have never looked back.

Now, on to the face. (And doesn’t my skin look good? Notice I didn’t say face.) I wash in the morning with Cetaphil and in the evening with SebaMed. The SebaMed has a strong smell but it is soap and alkaline free and is pretty gentle. I like that it lathers, too. I just use Missha BB Cream in the morning and since that kills about four birds with one stone, I don’t need to use anything extra. At night, my regimen is a bit more work. I spray my face with Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir. It just is so cool and refreshing and delicious. Then I apply Tarte Marajuca Oil. I was skeptical at first but kept reading how oil fights oil. For $46, I want all out war. And it works! It just absorbs and when I wake up in the morning, I am not an oil field.

I also use Clinique’s Repairwear Eye Cream. I’ve written about that stuff. Love it. On my lips, I have several balms nearby. I usually go for Nivea’s Milk & Honey but also have Cocoa Butter Vaseline and EOS Mint and who knows what else.

Mostly hair- no pictures please!

Mostly hair- no pictures please!

Of course, New York winters can be harsh (yes, in the city, too) and my hands and cuticles suffer. I use Fresh Brown Sugar Hand Cream before bed and it’s only okay. Once I’m done with it I probably won’t buy it again for $18.50. I also keep Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream on hand (ha ha!) and rub it onto cuticles and nails any chance I get. It smells like lemon pie, not that I have ever smelled lemon pie, but I can only imagine it smells this good.

A flock of dees...

A flock of dees…

That’s it for now. I’m less cranky but still crampy.

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

I’ve Noticed You Are Doing Pans…

I won’t lie.   I have a problem. I will admit it- I am a product hoarder. I just can’t help myself. Maybe it is my insecurity, maybe my lack of will power, or maybe I can blame society for feeling so aesthetically inadequate. But I won’t. Oh, no. Walgreen’s is my dealer and any beauty product is my drug of choice.

My day begins in a Cetaphil filled stupor. I start by rinsing my face with warm water and pumping some cleanser into the palm of my hand. I swipe my face, and wash in circles, rinse again and dry. And this is just the beginning…

After I get dressed, I head over to the dining room table to do my make-up. The truth is if I don’t have time for this step, I just do a quick face at work (of course I carry some products! Did you think I wouldn’t?) I will admit that if I don’t get to do my morning makeover, I might be cranky. Like caffeine withdrawal, it can be dangerous. I begin by turning on my 10x magnifying light up mirror. I examine for any kind of hair that shouldn’t be on my face and anything else that I just need to extract. I then start with eyelid primer. I am currently using E.L.F.’s. It’s $1.00 US. I untwist the cap and swipe excess on the lip of the tube. It needs to dry before I can apply eye make-up.

Do you see me?

Do you see me?

I don’t waste any time. This needs to be a quick fix. I apply Missha’s Perfect Cover BB Cream in No. 13. I think it might be a bit light for me but I manage to blend it in well and it covers my skin flaws. I suffer a little redness in the winter. Since I tend to get oily, BB creams don’t work for me in warmer months but in the winter they do the trick. Just in case I need a little more concealing, I have ELF’s All Over Cover Stick in Spice. It looked lighter in the store than it really is but I blend again. For a rosy glow, I apply a little geoGirl Cream Blush in Eco Rose. I am pretty sure this line was geared towards tweens, the 8-12 year old set. That’s a little sick. This hoochie bought this on clearance at Wal-Mart for about $2.00 US. Truth is- it is fantastic! I love it and I have a feeling it has been discontinued. And the backlash that Wal-Mart really created the line for eight year old girls didn’t help. Not smart, Wal-Mart! You should have thought about an inexpensive line for people in their 30s. Duh.

For a flawless face. Yeah. Right.

For a flawless face. Yeah. Right.

photo (9)

geoGirl KOC (Kiss on Cheek) Cream Blush. Corny.

Why waste my time discussing this? The precious seconds march on! My lids should be dry enough now. So many choices! I look at my outfit and depending on my “look”, I choose. I have several palettes on hand for this. Yes. Several. Gray, purple, taupe, or brown? Shimmer, satin, or matte? It changes daily and I like my options. And I feed my addiction with the idea that I can switch it up. Notice I have choices from Bobbi Brown, to Maybelline, to Charlotte Ronson, to Smashbox. I never pick sides. I like them all. And I have more tucked away somewhere and you will never find them. Then the dilemma: to line or not to line. No worries- I have options and usually don’t line because I still have to get my coffee ready. The liners are there though, in case I need to add fuel to the fire.

My sweet array of candy shadows

My sweet array of candy shadows

photo (16)

Put a line through it.

I finally curl my lashes- Shu Uemura- is there really any other eyelash curler? and apply whatever sample mascara I have available. I then make a run to the bedroom and spritz on my choice fragrance of the day- today was Byredo Seven Veils. I triple check my bag for my lipstick (right now, Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in Love Me. It is from the new graffiti line) and grab my stuff. I will not be able to get a fix all day, except for a swipe or two of lipstick.

Love me. Say that you love me.

Love me. Say that you love me.

photo (17)

Torture devices. And I like them.

When I get home, I head to the bathroom and grab my Simple cleansing wipes and remove it all! I only hope that I will be going out in the evening so I can do it all over again.

So to all my fellow beauty bloggers, I commend you on your pans. I try to clean out every month but I just can’t do it. I just feel like I can’t go a day without some of these products. What do you plan on giving up? Is it killing you?!

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

(Not so) Glossy Magazines

Every time I go on vacation, I always love to explore the magazine selection at the airport. Since I subscribe to several magazines, finding something I have not read already can be a bit of a job. I’m usually up for the challenge. Maybe it’s because of my age (early 30s) or because I am nauseated by all of the thin bodies that grace magazine covers (not my body type by a long shot), I have become disenchanted by some of the beauty and fashion publications. I’m not only talking about the models and celebrity stalking, rather the quality of content and the writing. It’s a disgrace. I won’t get into my theories as to why these magazines have become so fluffy. In a sense, they have always been easy to read (and fun!) but some magazines always had a hidden gem. Not as of late. Not a ruby or emerald in sight. Not even a pink quartz. Here is a list of magazines that I have read and my opinion on the content. It’s not pretty.

Cosmopolitan: As a rule, I have stopped reading this magazine. I felt I outgrew it long ago but I picked it up on a whim. I read the entire thing in about an hour, cover to cover. I feel that they repeat the same “advice” (this is a family-friendly blog, folks) in every issue, just in a semi-new way. It’s also written so an 8th grader can read it (no offense, but monitor what comes in your house!)

Glamour: I got a subscription because I really used to enjoy perusing this magazine. Of course, as soon as I pay my money, the format goes kerplunk. The articles are so blah, the topics are boring, and they really have resorted to A LOT of pictures. I know it is a fashion magazine but come on! Give me something for five bucks.

Marie Claire: Another one bites the dust! I got a subscription and sure enough, the magazine changes format, the writing gets way too easy, and they have less and less socially aware content. Their editor just recently left for Cosmo. I don’t even want to talk about it.

I have now resorted to Good Housekeeping and January’s issue is awful, too. What the heck is going on? Is America really that illiterate? Not to sound harsh but it scares me that these magazines are written for adults.

Oh! And another thing! Why do I need to look at a $758 dress? I think most of the people reading the above publications would not even think of spending that. Maybe it’s just me.

<<Steps off soapbox>>

Keep Calm & Primp On. XOXO

Blog of the Year Award!

At the end of 2012, Brooklin Mommy of Mommy Loves Nail Polish  nominated me for a Blog of the Year Award. I am so pleased and I hope she adds another star to her sky. I nominate her back!

http://mommylovesnailpolish.wordpress.com

I also nominate:

http://loveyourlipgloss.com/ (A real make-up artist with realistic beauty advice)

http://propersweetie.wordpress.com/ (Honest, fun, and well written- glad I found this one!)

http://bigbeautifulbold.wordpress.com/ (Making women feel good at any size)

http://beingzhenya.com/ (Great refashions with thrift store finds and a lot of cool ideas)

http://niicolea.wordpress.com/ (Gorgeous make-up creations. Gorgeous.)

http://girlintheglasses.com/ (Well thought out reviews, fearless, AND a great look at life for an American in Germany)

There are so many blogs I want to nominate but I will start with these six and as my stars start to twinkle more, I will add more blogs!

Here is the linkback: http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/our-awards/blog-of-the-year-2012-award/

The rules for this award:

  1. Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award
  2. Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award.
  3. Please include a link back to this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award – http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/our-awards/blog-of-the-year-2012-award/faqs-blog-of-the-year-2012award and include these rules in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!)
  4. Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them
  5. You can now also join our Facebook group – click ‘like’ on this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Facebook group and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience
  6. As a winner of the award – please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award – and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars!!!

Collect Stars!

Unlike other awards which you can only add to your blog once – this award is different! When you begin you will receive the ‘1 star’ award – and every time you are given the award by another blog – you can add another star! There are a total of 6 stars to collect!!! Which means that you can check out your favorite blogs – and even if they have already been given the award by someone else – you can still award it to them again and help them to reach the maximum 6 stars!

Need to know more? Check out our FAQ page

And Congratulations! on being chosen for the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award

‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award – thumbnails

Here are the 6 awards in thumbnail size for your sidebar – feel free to Right Click and save any of the images on this page:

Surprisingly, No Mishap Manicure

The Couture Gel Polish System... the old model.

Gel Haute Gel Nail-Polish Kit

A few months ago, I purchased a Gel Haute Gel Nail-Polish Kit from Groupon. If you don’t know what Groupon is, it is a website where you can purchase products and services at discounted prices. Anyhoo, I bought this gel kit for $49 US. Since a gel manicure in my neighborhood can run $30+, I figured $49 wouldn’t be a terrible amount to spend. I also prefer doing my nails at home. I have no patience to sit and dry them at the nail salon. At least I can watch TV and sit on my recliner if I do my nails myself.

The kit came with an “elite” LED light, nail cleanser, polish remover, gel topcoat, gel basecoat, and four gel polishes. There were three different kits and I chose the kit with “everyday” colors. It seems that I got a good deal, as the kit on the Haute Polish website goes for $79 and has one color polish, cleansing packets, and detailing wands.  BUT you can get the kit I purchased on Beauty.com for $49 and if you use Ebates (and you should), you get 10% back! Here is my referral link: http://www.ebates.com/rf.do?referrerid=QCW7RpLgOg4Acdd12tl39g%3D%3D (I think Ebates is also available in Canada.)

Skipping along…

First, I plugged in the lamp. There is a power button on the right side of the lamp.

I started by cleaning up my cuticles and filing my nails.  Then I used the nail cleanser and let my nails dry. It swipes on as easy as remover. I applied a thin layer of gel basecoat to four fingers on my left hand, leaving my thumb. I popped them under the light and hit the button. The light turns off after two minutes, then I repeated the process on my right hand and saved thumbs for last. The basecoat took about seven minutes with application and light curing.

Nail Cleanser (not be mistaken for polish remover) and basecoat

Nail Cleanser (not be mistaken for polish remover) and basecoat

It was now time for color. I actually chose the “natural” shade. It is kind of taupy and I really liked it in the bottle. I applied one coat in the above process and it was very sheer. I cured and applied some more, and then did it again. I did four coats of color polish. It was still streaky but not terribly obvious.

The color

The color

Since each hand takes two minutes and then you do the thumbs, it takes at least 7 minutes with application for all nails. A bit time consuming…

The three steps and the light

The three steps and the light

When I was finally satisfied, roughly 30 minutes later, I applied the topcoat. The brush was awful! The bristles were stuck together and it would not apply evenly. I did the best I could and cured my nails under the light. Then I rubbed each nail down with the nail cleanser- they will not look shiny without that final step.

Gloopy, gloppy topcoat!

Gloopy, gloppy topcoat!

The result: I’m not too excited with the job I did. I’m not sure if it was me or the topcoat. My nails are lumpy but you can’t really tell unless you look closely. I’ve been pretty hard on my hands (as usual) and they still have yet to chip. I will give the system another chance and try a different color. That might work out better. I might throw some glittery polish over this so it doesn’t look so bumpy. All in all, the Gel Haute Gel Nail-Polish Kit is not difficult to use, I just think it may take a different color, better topcoat, and some practice.

Left is without flash. I am holding a Caudalie product! Take a guess!

Left is without flash. I am holding a Caudalie product! Take a guess!

Oh- I also emailed the wrong gel polish company about the topcoat! I will send them an email about my error and send the message where it belongs!

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

Hope in a Blog & Wishtrend Giveaway Collaboration

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Confused ? Why is there a dragon and a cupid ?

Welcome to Hope In A Blog x Wishtrend’s  first ever blogger’s event.

The Dragon represents Wishtrend, the cupid – Hope In A Blog.

The Dragon represents courage, power – and the cupid represents love, passion.

The Dragon represents the East, the cupid – the West.

Most importantly….

The Dragon is a symbol of the Asian Lunar New Year, while the Cupid – the symbol of Valentine’s Day.

This year, they both fall on the same month – in February, and to celebrate this special double occasion – Wishtrend and Hope In A Blog are collaborating on a special box and a special event and competition for bloggers WORLDWIDE to join us celebrate these two important days!

…And what do these two celebrations have in common ? The colour RED! Yes, that’s it ! Wishtrend will be releasing a special box – which compromises of all RED items to beautify yourselves in these two occasions. If you are a blogger, you will be able to have a chance to test this box out yourself FREE OF CHARGE – post a photo – and WIN a grand prize! Create your best ‘RED’ look with the items in the box and let your creativity take over!

Open to bloggers WORLDWIDE.

How To Enter ?

 

1. Create a new post on your blog and copy and paste this entry.

2. After creating the post , email the URL/Website to jwzs@wishcompany.net.

3. Selection process will begin and bloggers selected will receive an email. Red Box will be delievered on 2nd week of January with tracking number.

4. If selected, the Special Box will be mailed to your address.

5. After 2 weeks, Blogger is required to review and post a photo using all the items in the box. Dateline : 1/31/2013. Please mail the blog link to jwzs@wishcompany.net to validate your entry.

6. Wishtrend and Hope In A Blog will pick a blogger with the most creative photo and blog post ( make good use of the items and create your best ‘RED” look! )

P.S : If You are not chosen as a Wishtrend blogger, but have purchased the Red Box on your own, you can enter this competition as well by sending us the link of your blog post with review and photo tojwzs@wishcompany.net

PRIZE :

Winner will have their photo posted on the main page of the Wishtrend site as well as theWishtrend Facebook Page with their Blog site. With over 40,000 likes on Facebook and more than 100,000 clients all over the world – this will give your blog a huge push!

Winner will also win a $30  $50 coupon from Wishtrend.com