Mermaid Nails: Sally Hansen Color Therapy in Reflection Pool (First Impression)

Mermaid Nails: Sally Hansen Color Therapy in Reflection Pool (First Impression)

Some people prefer a good #ManiMonday. Personally, I’m partial to a good manicure any day of the week. When all else fails and you need a pick me up? Nail polish. Feeling anxious? Paint your nails. Wanna hang with the girls? Get a manicure and/or pedicure together. Nail polish saves lives. Period.

As you can probably guess, I have a decent sized collection of polishes–lots of different colours, finishes and brands. But, I keep adding to it, because no two polishes are alike in my opinion (same with lipstick to be honest).

Yesterday, while on a prescription medication pickup, me and a friend browsed the cosmetics aisle (if you’re my friend and we go to the drugstore together, just expect that I will be giving the cosmetics section some love). I already own Essie’s Dive Bar, a beautiful, deep and unique metallic swirl of mermaid colours. Perfect for a fall day, especially when paired with a good, chunky knit sweater and your most comfortable pair of jeans or leggings and cozy socks. I like that colour a lot. It’s never disappointed in the “cool manicure” category and I get many compliments whenever I wear it.

However. The world is big and other companies have their takes on the mermaid swirl look. Sally Hansen’s new Color Therapy offering, in the shade Reflection Pool, is one of them. Where Dive Bar is deep, dark and twisty, Reflection Pool is just that–a beautiful oceanic blue/green/tinge of purple mix. It’s shade name really nails it. I mean, honestly, you could stare at the colour in the bottle and honestly get lost. It’s mesmerizing.

Okay, let’s get to the good stuff:

Size: Reflection Pool retails for $8.99 at grocery and drugstore chains. If you are Gold status at Rite Aid, you can grab it for $7.19! For the price, you get 0.5 fl. oz./14.7mL. Product size really is personal to each individual, some may consider this to be too large a bottle to avoid wasted product, others may think it’s great bang for the buck, to each its own–those are the facts.

Color: It’s GORGEOUS. There are swirls of blue, green and do I detect a little bit of purple?? I think so. See for yourself below!

sally hansen_reflection pool
Sally Hansen Color Therapy in Reflection Pool

Application: Even with a clear base coat (Essie’s All-In-One Base, Top and Strengthener Formula) the application on this is sheer but buildable. You’ll need at least 2 coats to get a more opaque look if that’s what you’re going for. Also, for many, this might be more wearable than other options because of its sheer formula. If you’re intrigued by mermaid nails or the mermaid/unicorn trend in general, this is a nice little gateway.

Mood: Fun, exploratory, optimistic, positive (safe) risk taking, slightly moody but also mood enhancing; I think water signs would love this colour. <3

Overall, my first impression is that I think it’s worth the price. I wish the formula was more opaque but for me, it’s not even remotely a deal breaker. Just a mild annoyance that requires me to exercise patience (which never hurts!). I’m applying to my nails as I’m writing this, but I also think this will find its way to my toes before we see our first leaf fall. If you’re into the trend, definitely give this a try!

So, what do you think? Do you love the mermaid nail trend? Will you try it?

Chat with me in the comments below.

Talk soon. -xo, Layla

Advertisements
Thanks, But No: A Few Things I’ve Tried and Tossed

Thanks, But No: A Few Things I’ve Tried and Tossed

Have you ever tried something because you’ve heard so much about it, and it sounded like it’d be the most perfect addition to your beauty stash? Me too. And I love when something works and becomes a HG product. But that’s not always the case. Sometimes, no matter how much you want to love a product, or how well it seems to work with/on someone else, it’s just not for you.

Unfortunately, this year I’ve come across a few products like that. Some I will give a little more time…others, I just need to quickly toss. Read on for the products that I just can’t adopt into my product family:

NYX Cosmetics Lip Lingerie: Let me start by saying that I absolutely LOVE liquid lipsticks. I love lip products period. The more matte, the better. And I’ve tried my fair share of NYX products and never had anything but praise and a spot in my stash for them so I bought 4 different shades of Lip Lingerie one day on while on a Target run. I didn’t think twice. The shades (French Maid, Exotic, Beauty Mark, and Ruffle Trim) are all beautiful nudes. They’re great for a subtle and polished look. The real tragedy though? The wear. They apply nicely (although a little more wet than I typically prefer), and the pigment payoff is exquisite. That just doesn’t last very long. After a few hours, they feel tacky in some places, dry in others and become uneven. God forbid you wear these on a busy day when you’re not apply to touch up or reapply regularly! (And to be honest, it’s my personal opinion that touch ups and reapplications should be sparse when necessary, but I love long wear products that leave me with one less thing to worry about throughout a hectic day). Bottom line: Try one first, see what you think. If you love, stock them all. If you don’t, you’re not stuck with multiples to throw away (like me, SMH).

Maybelline The Falsies Push Up Drama Mascara: I got more excited about this mascara launching than I do for a lot of new beauty launches. One of my HG mascaras is Benefit They’re Real Mascara (which is the stuff of your lashes-but-better dreams). I’ll buy it as long as it’s good, but the price tag ($24!) is a little steep for a mascara so I’m always looking out for a drugstore dupe that I can use in its place for most days (saving Benefit for special occasions, etc.) I thought this Maybelline offering was the one. I thought it was here to save me and my debit card. Disappointment, thy name is a mascara formula that makes your eyes tear a few minutes after applying. That’s right, it’s great–it gives you beautiful long, voluminous dramatic everyday lashes, but my eyes hated something in the formula and wouldn’t let me carry on with my day for as long as I had it on. It’s hard to look at a computer screen, your smartphone, take notes, walk or really anything else that might require your eyesight when you’re so busy wiping your eyes. Unfortunately, this product goes to beauty heaven because of that. R.I.P. (pour out some eye makeup remover for this real one)

Clinique Pep-Start Quick Cleansing Wipes: I’m a fan of the Korean double cleansing method (oil, then water based cleanser) for removing makeup, or simply purifying your makeup free skin after a day out and about in the environment. But every now and then, I need wipes to help me along because I just don’t have the energy to do the double cleanse “properly” every single day. With my sensitive skin I’ve tried a more than decent amount of Clinique’s products and it’s one of my go-to brands. I picked up a pack of these during a couch session of online shopping. They’re inexpensive enough, coming in at $14 for 50 towelettes, but even the price couldn’t get me to use more than 2 wipes before I discarded the pack. The reason? I don’t find these nearly moist enough to a) remove surface oil and dirt (as promised) and b) not leave my skin feeling dry, stripped and irritated. After I used these wipes, I still felt that I needed a sink, soap and water–which completely defeats the purpose of wipes in the first place. I gave these away to someone who tried them while lounging at home with me one day. She loved them. They found a new home. All’s well that ends well, I guess.

Hopefully my latest and future beauty finds will work out better. Crossing my just polished nails and toes. Here’s hoping!

What about you? Any products you’ve tried and had to toss? Let me know in the comments below.

Talk soon -xo Layla

It’s Been A Year/What I’m Loving…

It’s Been A Year/What I’m Loving…

Hey guys and dolls,

I know. Before you even start, let’s…not? Okay? It’s been a rough year. I blogged maybe once last year? And then *poof* nothing. I’m sorry. But, then again, I’m not sorry. I was focused on surviving. I wasn’t in beast mode. I was in chronic-illness, get-through-the-day-so-I-can-go-back-to-sleep-mode. And to be honest, I’m still kind of in that mood, but I’m hoping that I’m climbing out and I’ll be here to stay out of the rut a little longer than last time.

So, that’s done, we’ve had a truth moment. Still with me? Great, I appreciate it. Now, can we talk about the good stuff? Like all the stuff that’s been making me smile, laugh, relax and basically get through all the crap? Cool, let’s get into it!

TV

Feeling under the weather a lot means spending huge chunks of whatever free time you have on your couch or in your bed. So I watched (and continue to watch) a lot of TV. Some of the shows that I’m currently loving are some well known favorites and a few that might be a little lesser known, but they’re still so good. 

Power (Starz, Sundays @9pm)Do you watch Empire on Fox? If so, do you love it? Then, give Power a try. Aside from the off screen drama between the two creators (Lee Daniels and 50 Cent, respectively) there’s plenty of on screen mishap, mayhem and good old storylines to last you for at least a good month of binge sessions. Power has everything: love, family, crime, law, complex relationships and friendships, parenting…you name it. There hasn’t yet been a dull moment and the newest season is sure not to disappoint.

Claws (TNT, Sundays @9pm):  Yes, I know, scheduling conflict if you want to also catch Power. This is what On Demand is for. Sometimes, there is no solution. Just pick a show to watch and maybe alternate between the weeks or something. But definitely watch Claws. Again, a lot happening, but all good. I can’t describe the show and do it it’s proper justice, just watch the first episode and try not to be hooked in the first 5 minutes. I. Dare. You.

Undercover (BBC UK/One, On Demand)This show originally debuted in 2016, but I only discovered it this year. This one is for all of my legal, crime and mystery buffs. Stellar acting and the most beautifully woven story, directed with the kind of artistic touch that makes you feel that you’re smack in the middle of the story and living it out with the characters. Emotional, but not depressing. Also, sometimes a good cry is in order, even better if it’s measured and you can quickly let it out and then keep moving (in my opinion).

Beauty

I’m loving a lot in the beauty space right now. But, here are just a few of the items that I can’t get enough of these last few days, weeks and months…

L’Oreal Lash Paradise ($8.99, Target): Whenever I’ve purchased a mascara these past few months, I’ve gone for the darkest shade they offer. L’oreal beats a lot of the competition with their blackest black and carbon black shades. This mascara isn’t any different. Also, it’s a beautiful dupe for Too Faced’s Better Than Sex mascara, which I loved in the its travel size, but quickly hated when I purchased a full size. This mascara delivers the same (if not better) application and results,  is a great savings ($20!!!) and manages to stay on flake- and smear-free during the day, but slips off so easily when you’re ready to remove. Run, don’t walk to Target and get one. or Two. A lady must always be ready.

JINsoon Nail Lacquer ($68*, Birchbox): This one is tricky. The shade is Vogue Rose. The application is smooth, easy and creamy. The way to get it in your hands and on your nails and toes…that’s the tricky part. It’s apart of one of Birchbox’s most recent Limited Edition boxes. You can buy the entire box full of goodies, which are a celebration of Vogue’s 125 Anniversary and get this lovely shade. Click the link. You know you want to.

Maybelline Color Sensational Matte Metallics Lipstick in Copper Rose ($8.99, Walgreens): This is going to need to be in your fall lip arsenal. It’s gorgeous and dramatic, but still wearable. Wear this when you need a boost of confidence, or for all eyes to be on your lips for…other reasons. This is the confident girl’s lip–even if you have to fake it until you make it. Is she born with it or is it Maybelline? ;)

Obviously, there are more things, but TV and my beauty finds are my main companion these days.

Don’t forget to follow the blog, so you never miss a post–especially because I can’t always plan them! I’d hate for you to miss a thing. Love our chats, missed you dearly.

Talk soon. xo, Layla

Looking Ahead: Fall Beauty

Looking Ahead: Fall Beauty

imagesI know what you’re thinking…it’s only July. True. But, August will come soon and fly by, just like all these previous months have and we’ll be looking out at fall weather and falling leaves before we know it.

And as we also know, with new seasons come new beauty releases and a chance to bring out tried and true seasonal favorites, like oxblood manicures.

For me, it’s also a time that I revisit some products that have been on the market for a little while and are suitable for fall/winter weather, but that I haven’t made up my mind about whether I “need” them or not. (PSA: in my head, all beauty purchases are needs, right up there with–and I’m almost embarrassed to admit–before food.)

Here’s another thing to think about: these fall beauty splurges you may want to treat yourself to. Now’s the time to be the smart beauty you are and start stashing your coins away. Even if you’re living a financially comfortable life, it truly doesn’t hurt to make any large(ish) purchases that much easier by spreading out the cost over time, especially since you’d be doing so without paying the interest you would if you used a credit card.

Okay, we now return to our regularly scheduled beauty programming…I like to make a small list of about 5 things that I really want to purchase for the fall season that I can use throughout fall and into winter, or even Spring depending on the product type and shade (if applicable). I prioritize them by desire, research the regular retail price and figure out how much money I’ll stash away each pay period in order to snag at least my most desired item. This way, if something comes up and I can’t get them all, I’ll at least have the item I had my heart set on.

Here’s my list for this year (of course, it’s subject to minor tweaks):

  1. Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper, $19
  2. Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette, $54
  3. Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in Sad Girl, $20
  4. Clinique Sweet Pots Sugar Scrub & Lip Balm in Black Honey, $19.50
  5. Yves Saint Laurent Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils in Burgundy 5, $32

A few things: first, these aren’t new launches for this year, rather the result of my procrastination  perpetual “be responsible” self talk; second: while in singular these aren’t particularly expensive, I can never just grab one lippie, mascara or eyeliner at a time–can you? And that’s where we can get ourselves started on the slippery slope. So again, I’m firmly in the camp of “stash away!”

And lastly, notice a theme here?? Oxblood/deep wine/burgundy LOVE–hardcore. In fall and winter, Oxblood tones are my boo and we’re in the most committed of relationships, and quite happily might I add ;)

What’s your 5? Let me know in the comments below!

Talk soon. xo-Layla

#TheGreat28: Birthday Beauty

#TheGreat28: Birthday Beauty

images
Photo: SheKnows

I CANNOT believe it’s been a year since I’ve posted. An entire year. Time didn’t feel like it was moving that quickly and yet, it felt it was going by way too fast. Weird how that works.

Last time we had a chat, I was still 26 going on 27. Birthdays make me feel a little reflective, but only slightly. 27 was pretty mild in terms of introspection. This year, I’m a few days into my 28th year of life and it hit. HARD. It’s not jarring, but it definitely feels different in the sort of way that’s frustrating and annoying. The cure: what else? Beauty :)

I had a great birthday. Everything I imagined and then some. I rocked one of my favorite red matte lip colours (Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl ), an easy-going and figure forgiving royal blue dress, and a great small bag. Birthday beauty is one of my favourite occasions and a red lip colour always perks me up.

It also gets me thinking about what my beauty looks for the upcoming year might be like, which always leads me to seek out inspiration (hey Pinterest!). Keeping your eyes open to images and other visuals around you is so great for being introduced to new ideas, trends and looks that you might like to try. If you’re not finding yourself stuck in a style or beauty rut, or are just looking to add more to your repertoire, I’d encourage you to be deliberate about finding inspiration and actually following through on any of the new ideas you’re drawn to. It can do wonders for your mood, self-esteem and general outlook. With things the way they are lately, we all could use a boost in any of those areas.

So…28 is here. I’m embracing it and looking forward to what’s in store, so much so that I made myself a little list and can’t wait to celebrate when I check something off. Here goes:

  • Take better care of my skin…including incorporating more preventative products
  • Drink plenty more water (for skin and overall improved health)
  • Go glam more often…why wait for a “special occasion”?
  • Experiment with more eye looks…I love a bold lip, but it’s time I give my eyes some more love, they deserve it ;)
  • Take more selfies!!…because why the hell not?
  • Go with the flow…experiment and have fun, staying confident the whole way–at the end of the day, it can all be undone with the swipe of a micellar water soaked cotton ball

What about you beauties? Any birthday beauty faves or “resolutions”? I wanna hear all about them! Write me in the comments.

P.S. I missed you guys. Happy we could catch up. xo.

Layla 

Impromptu Clinique and Kiko Milano Haul!!!!

Impromptu Clinique and Kiko Milano Haul!!!!

The saying goes: the first step is acknowledging that you have a problem…but if I don’t see it as a problem does that mean that I get no help? Just wondering…

Anyways, I purchased a few beauty products on the way home: *big surprise*

I have a Clinique counter and Kiko Milano store within walking distance so, honestly, what do you want from me? I mean, really.

At the Clinique counter, I went in for a refill of Step 1 in their 3 step skin care system: cleanser. Needless to say, I couldn’t decide which formula I get: whether I should try something new in hopes of giving my skin a much needed boost, or stick to what I know (basically/usually) works. In the end, I walked out with a sample of a formula I haven’t used since I was a teen, Clinique’s Extra Mild Facial Soap. I’m going to try it out of the life of the sample (I’m guessing 2-3 days at once a day) and see if my skin has been craving to go back to old habits after all. But of course I can’t just walk away. Nope, I chat with the lovely Clinique specialist and see what she’s been using and loving, which is how I ended up with Clinique’s Airbrush Concealer in (12) Deeper Caramel.

Clinique Airbrush Concealer, $20
Clinique Airbrush Concealer, $20

Clinique Airbrush Concealer Deeper Caramel Swatch

The Airbrush Concealer promises to “illuminate and perfect”.I haven’t tried the product yet, but I’ll report back. I’m hoping it will brighten up my eye area and serve as a soft highlight too. We’ll see…

Of course on my way home, I had to pass Kiko Milano and I can’t pass that store without walking in and I can walk in without buying something (or a handful of somethings actually). I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect contouring product. I use NARS Bronzer in Laguna now for a very soft bit of definition, but lately I’ve been wanting to try a more sculpted but not harsh contoured look. I was leaning towards a powder, until I hit Kiko and the MUA there suggested a darker cream concealer, specifically their Skin Evolution Concealer in Shade 009 (for reference I’m typically an 007). Since I already own one of their concealers so I was up to try it, and since it’s only $9 if it didn’t work out, no love lost. This concealer is a deep chocolate, with the tiniest hint of red. I can’t wait to try this!!

Kiko Milano Skin Evolution Concealer (Corrector Shade)
Kiko Milano Skin Evolution Concealer, $9     (Corrector Shade for Packaging Reference)
Kiko Milano Skin Evolution Concealer in Shade 009 (Cocoa)
Kiko Milano Skin Evolution Concealer in Shade 009 (Cocoa)

Feeling like I had achieved my purpose in life (dramatic much?), I decided to look around a bit more and see what new treats awaited. I always get compliments on my eyes: their size (big), shape (almond) and color (dark brown). It’s helped me to look at this particular feature in a different, more complimentary light and so I’m noticing my desire to play them up more. Nowadays, I don’t go without eyeliner, unless I’m making a quick coffee run on a Saturday or something like it. I usually stay with dark and metallic creamy browns and various formulas of black liners. But every once in a while…BAM! I slap on a colored liner and make my way through the day with eyes just aflutter. *feeling my.self.* All this said: I picked up Kiko’s Intense Colour Long Lasting Eyeliner in the shade Metallic Night Blue (15). Please believe I’m rocking this with a chambray shirt and no competing eyeshadow. It’s a beautiful cobalt metallic with a hint of navy to make it more wearable everyday (in my opinion). Even better? One end of the eyeliner houses a smudge for a gorgeous, modern smokey eye. YOU’RE WELCOME.

Kiko Milano Intense Colour Long Lasting Eyeliner in Metallic Night Blue, $8
Kiko Milano Intense Colour Long Lasting Eyeliner in Metallic Night Blue, $8

Kiko Milano Intense Colour Long Lasting Eyeliner in Metallic Night Blue

And last but certainly not least because I LOVE a lip product: Kiko Milano Smart Lipstick in Red Coral (905). This “rich, nourishing” lipstick is only $7! It’s a great shade for summer and is pretty sheer on my deeper skin tone but complimentary. Note that this lipstick has shimmer in it. The particles are small enough that it’s not overwhelming but if you prefer a more subdued finish, then I’d try one of Kiko’s other formulas to see if they have the shade you want without the sparkle.

Kiko Milano Smart Lipstick, $7
Kiko Milano Smart Lipstick, $7
Kiko Milano Smart Lipstick in Red Coral Swatch
Kiko Milano Smart Lipstick in Red Coral Swatch

Hope you enjoyed reading about my impulse buys! I’ll be back next time for more product love <3

Until then…ttyl.

xo,

Layla

First Impression: Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 35

First Impression: Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 35

Warm weather is finally here! *shimmy, shimmy*

The Northeast is notorious for less than enviable fall/winter weather, but this year my tolerance must’ve completely forgotten to show up because I was OVER. IT. before winter even really set in, got comfortable and decided to stay a while. Now don’t get me wrong, cold weather is good for a few things when it comes to beauty. For us oily or combination girls: it means we’re matte all day without too much maintenance. Spring and summer means we’ve got to have our blotting game on fleek. Which brings me to the reason we’re all here: my latest rant/review.

If you’re new here then I must tell you: I’m a HUGE fan of Birchbox. Love my monthly box, the Birchbox shop and I’m dying to visit their retail location in Soho. Obviously, this means that I have Birchbox points. Lots of them. (I’m almost ACE status, whoo!) I’ve been hoarding my points for a few months, just waiting for the right product to come along and make me want to cash it all in. Last week, I saw it: Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 35. 

Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 35 in Dark, $39 Photo courtesy: Smashbox
Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 35 in Dark, $39, 1 fl. oz
Photo courtesy: Smashbox

First things first: when you read the box you’ll notice that the product description says this BB cream is a “5-in-1 miracle worker proven to PRIME, PERFECT, PROTECT, HYDRATE and CONTROL OIL.” STOP HERE: this is the point where I audibly squealed with delight. Okay, we can keep going now.

So…how do I feel about this product? I’m….still on the fence :/

I’ve only used it this one day (today), so I will give it more time for sure. I applied this BB Cream (with my Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, that I LOVE!) at around 7 a.m. and removed it via makeup remover wipe at about 7 p.m. I did have to use blotting powder and films throughout the day, but not for my whole T-zone; just my nose. Otherwise, it did a decent enough job of controlling my oil.

Here’s what I like: it has sun protection (the full coverage, truly safe variety aka broad spectrum), instead of a 9-12 month expiration date, this product could last 24 months (it’d probably be gone by then honestly), and the coverage is sheer/light which is just enough to even your tone and look polished while still allowing your skin to shine through and breathe.

What I’m kind of *meh* about: the sun protection is actually a combination of 4 sunscreens and one of them is oxybenzone which has been known to be a skin irritant for some so tread very carefully if you have sensitive skin or have experienced issues with your skin and sun protection in the past. Lastly, the darkest shade (which is what I purchased) is good enough for my skin tone which is comparable to a MAC NC/NW45 or 47 without needing to do too much blending.

I can’t recommend trying this or not just yet. But if you simply can’t wait to get your hands on this and see what’s what, then I’d say, snap up a travel size (0.25 oz). Unfortunately, the travel size only comes in 2 shades: light and light/medium. (Really, Smashbox? Come. On.)  But if these are the shades you need, you can find this size on Amazon and directly from the Smashbox website.