If you’ve been reading the product descriptions of my Makeup Of The Day posts for the past couple of months, you will have noticed that I am pretty much exclusive to Smashbox HALO in Light/Neutral. It’s just that good!
In fact, HALO made me gasp out loud in amazement the first time I used it, giving my skin a gorgeous, lit-from-within illuminated glow. Never overly powdery, what I get with Smashbox HALO is a nice, long-wearing finish that sets my foundation and concealer products perfectly.
So, what is it that makes Smashbox HALO so great? Well, the fact that you shave the product off with a built-in tool that makes it completely un-messy is pretty darned cool. Besides that, HALO is talc-free, oil-free and includes built-in, anti-aging skin benefits. The ingredient list includes pure gold, 48 minerals, 11 amino acids, a powerful peptide, and a patented hydration system to provide hydration to your skin as long as you wear it.
Available in 8 shades, Light/Neutral is actually a great color for my medium/olive skin. If you are of my skin ilk, I’d also recommend going up a shade darker to Light/Medium. At $49, there are definitely less expensive powder options, but I do say I find the finish to be exceptional, so it’s worth it’s weight.
My Final Thoughts: Having used scores of beauty products through the years, anything that becomes a mainstay in my collection deserves all the raves it can possibly get. Smashbox HALO Hydrating Perfecting Powder offers a gorgeous, illuminated, long-wearing finish and sets foundation perfectly.
Today I have 4 easy nail art techniques that are guaranteed to spruce up any ordinary nail polish in your collection. While my polish application technique has definitely improved over time, I’ve always struggled in the area of nail art. In the interest of time and inexperience, I’ve learned to embrace easy techniques that give my basic nail colors an added boost.
Nail art can seem intimating but with a little know how, you’ll be sporting fun nails in no time.
Technique 1: Fan Brush
Using a fan brush to stipple color across your nail makes it seem like you’re doing something much fancier. For best results, use 2-3 colors on top of your base manicure, and clean your brush with acetone afterwards. I’ll admit this was a bit tricky for me to master, but I realized that applying polish directly to the tip of the brush yields the best results.
Technique 2: Dotticure
When it doubt, dot it out! The Dotticure is my fail safe that I use on so many occasions. I’ve always used the end of a bobby pin, but I just started using a dotting tool from the Kiss Salon Secrets Nail Art Starter Kit and I have to say it’s a great one for achieving a fine point. To properly dot, I pour a bit of polish into a plastic container and dot away.
Technique 3: Tape it up!
Scotch Tape is actually a fantastic general beauty tool, but that’s another post for another day. It’s great to use to create straight lines, as I did here. I just laid down the tape, polished over it, removed, and voila!
Cool, geometrical nail art in a flash!
Technique 4: Glitter Overcoat
Perhaps the easiest technique of all, you can’t fail with a pretty glitter overcoat on top of one (or all) of your nails. Make sure to use a really great nail polish remover, because most times glitter polishes require a lot of elbow grease to remove!
With all of these fun nail art ideas, make sure to seal your nails with a final layer of top coat.
Have you ever come across products that you generally don’t have overwhelmingly high expectations for, but end up being some of the best you’ve ever tried? That’s exactly how I feel about a few new nail care products I’ve recently tested from Cutex.
A leading nail care company since 1911, the folks at Cutex have been hard at work developing some new products that will bring your nail care game up a few notches.
Today I’m going to tell you about Cutex Advanced Revival Nail Polish Remover Pads, Cutex Advanced Nail Polish Remover, Cutex SPA Formula Nail Polish Remover, and Cutex Baseworx. These area all winners, and I’m far more impressed with their stellar performance than I ever expected.
I have to start with my very favorite, the Cutex Advanced Revival Nail Polish Remover Pads ($3,99, box of 10), which are going to be kept in stock with backups in the nail care section of my beauty pantry. Long story short, one little pad was able to remove layers of polish and glitter and holo from all of the nails of one hand with minimal elbow grease required on my part. I still really can’t believe how well it worked, and the best part is they’re easy to carry around for those nail polish removal emergencies. Please don’t ever discontinue these pads, Cutex!
The Cutex Advanced Revival Nail Polish Remover ($2.99) itself is just as great and is formulated to nourish nails with a combination of acetone, and botanical oils from apricot seed, flax seed, and the perilla plant. It’s also the first nail polish remover to receive a U.S. patent in more than 15 years.
If you love to wear glitter nails, you will LOVE the Cutex SPA Formula Nail Polish Remover ($3.98), which worked extremely well to remove the layers of polish, glitter, and holo adhered to my nails. This remover is designed to work with glitter, Shellac, or gel nails and works as well as pure acetone, but with nourishing oils to keep your nails and cuticles from drying out.
It’s based on bio-ceramic technology and formulated with a fine powder that bonds with the keratin in your nails to strengthen nails, fill in ridges, and help extend the wear time of your polish. It can also be used alone if you prefer a natural and shiny look.
My Final Thoughts: If your nails are in need of some TLC, turn to Cutex. I found the products I tested to work quickly, effectively, and love that they’re gentle on nails. To boot, they’re a steal! Costing between $3 – $8, these new products from Cutex won’t break the bank.
Yes, it’s true. I have a crush. No, not my gym crush, a blush crush on Paula Dorf Cheek Color in Passion.
In my makeup artist days, one lesson I learned early on was the power of blush to perfect a makeup application. There’s something to be said about just the right cheek color to balance a face, and even more so for shades that just seem to work universally along a wide variety of skin tones.
I’ve been using Paula Dorf Cheek Color in Passion for a few weeks and I have to admit it’s one of my current go-to blushes.
This is a medium rose matte blush that builds up beautifully and doesn’t disappear at the blink of an eye. I tend to favor high-end blushes, finding they have a lot of color payoff and last longer. I found that this particular blush stuck around for about four hours after application.
I’m slowly but surely building my collection of ColourPop Cosmetics, which is one of very favorite cheap treats. Everything is $5 and I’ve never been disappointed with my purchases. One of the latest colors in my stash is the ColourPop Super Shock Shadow in Dare.
Purple is the color love of my eyeshadow life. I love it, I love it, I love it!
Dare is a gorgeous shimmery neon purple.
It has hot pink and purple glitter and has stolen my heart. As with all ColourPop Super Shock Shadows, apply with your fingers for maximum impact. I used a pencil brush to apply the color to my lower lash line, and it worked well. When I wear ColourPop shadows on top of an eyeshadow primer, they are budge proof.
I did have one minor problem with this shadow, a first for ColourPop. The glue on the pan was loose, which really isn’t the biggest deal, but the reason why the top layer looks a little off in the photos.
My Final Thoughts: You can’t wrong with ColourPop as far as I’m concerned. If you love purple eyeshadow, you need to add Dare to your wish list!
With a history of ragged nails and cuticles safely behind me, the continued health of my cuticles is something I take extremely seriously. Some might argue I’m on the edge of an obsession with cuticle creams, but I say, just try to take them away from me. Just try.
I have a tendency to battle ingrown nails after pedicures, so I was looking for a nail treatment product that had Tea Tree Oil, which is a natural antimicrobial. Nail Tek had just what I was looking for, and so I eagerly snapped up a bottle and started using it immediately.
I love the dropper, which makes it easy to dispense the product and control the amount you’re using. The oil is lightweight and absorbs easily, making it ideal for both fingers and toes. I haven’t had much problems with ingrowns since I’ve started using it, and I’ll definitely pick up another bottle.
My Final Thoughts: Nail Tek Renew Natural Anti-Fungal Cuticle Oil is one of my favorite cuticle treatments. It’s keeping my cuticles in shape and it’s definitely a product I want to keep stocked in my nail care kit.