Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Black Friday Haul 2014


Here is my final video for 2014, and it is my Black Friday/ Cyber Monday haul video.
I purchased from just a few companies this year, but I hope you enjoy the video.
Thanks for watching and for your continued support.


Monday, December 22, 2014

How To Winterize Your Nails

The picture above is my awkward attempt at showing you freshly winterized nails. :-) I've been super busy the past three months and when that happens, my nails generally suffer. During that time,  I rarely found a moment to apply a clear coat of polish, which was evident by my dull peeling nails. Whenever I need to transition into the winter season or when my nails simply need a little love, I turn to my winterized nail  routine. 

First take a look at my dry nails, if you enlarge the picture you will see the visible ridges  and dehydrated appearance of my nails. 

Clearly these nails are in desperate need of repair. 

Step 1
I love to start by removing my excess cuticles. Although I have not blogged about this yet, my favorite cuticle remover is now  Vanish by Julep. Unlike other cuticle removers, I've noticed that you you can actually remove your cuticles immediately following application. However, it's recommended that you allow the product to remain on your cuticles for 30 second before attempting to remove the excess cuticles. The dropper applicator allows you to control the amount of product that is dispensed on each nail.
Vanish is priced at $16.00.

 I use the angled side of my trusty orange wood stick to remove the unwanted cuticles.  The pointy side of the wooden stick is then used to clean any unsightly remains from under my nails.

Step 2
Although the instructions that accompany Vanish, suggest that you wash your hands with soap and water after removing your cuticles. Before washing my hands I buff my nail bed just a bit with my Julep buffer, which I received in a Julep Maven box.

 Step 3
I now turn to my glass nail file to shape my nails. I also use my nail clipper to clean up any additional areas that may need attention.  The objective is to first address all of the steps in my nail care routine that would result in additional nail debris on the surface of my nails.

After shaping my nails properly, I am ready for the soaking process.

Step 4

Since it's difficult to separate our nails from the rest of our hands, I like to incorporate a step that will also cater to my entire hand. I take a bowl of warm water and I add in oils, pieces of a bath melt and a special milk based therapeutic spa treatment.

I break off a chunk of this paraben free bath melt which will soften the skin surrounding my nails as well as the rest of the skin on my hands.
I generally submerge both hands in the solution and soak my hands for 5-10 minutes.

 Next, I typically turn to a mild scrub which I use on my hands to further smooth out my skin.

 After completing this part of the process, I always see a drastic improvement in the appearance of my nails.

Step 5
If necessary I use a buffer to add a bit more shine and luster to my transformed nails.

Step 6

Now it's time to paint. I like to start with my $18.00 Oxygen Smoothing Base Coat by  Julep. This particular base coat is designed to smooth out any ridges that you may have on your nails. It's supposed to lay a smooth foundation before you apply your nail color.
Let's take a look at my nails after one application of this base coat.

 After two coats:

Step 7

I am ready to add a little color. Today, I applied Dahlia by Julep, which always reminds me of a shimmery version of curry powder. You can click here to shop this and other Julep nail polish  colors.

I used two coats of Dhalia.

Step 8

 I seal the entire process with a coat of the Julep Freedom Top Coat. Although I have never held my nails up to a light bulb to test out Julep's claim that the Freedom top coat can give you gel like results, I do know that when allowed to dry under normal conditions, it leaves my nails super shiny.

After my nails have dried completely, I like to add a little lotion to my hands to finalize the entire process.

Here is a final look at some of my most important pieces of the puzzle.

So do tell, how do you winterize your nails?
Thanks for reading!!!