Update–Layla Tries: CND Vinylux Nail System

Update–Layla Tries: CND Vinylux Nail System

Even as I start to write this post, I am reminded of the experience I’m about to relay, and I’m…thoroughly annoyed. To say the least. I had high hopes for this one…

tyra banks rooting for you GIF

What I have now? A lingering sense of disappointment and a fresh, shiny manicure that I know I can count on because I feel mildly traumatized by my Vinyl experience.

Before we go any further, if you haven’t already, please read my first post about this nail polish system here.

Spoiler alert: we didn’t make it to 7 days girls and gents. Oh no, instead we made to day 5.

evelyn awkward face GIF

It’s okay though. It’s cool. It’s fine. Really. Because I really learned something about myself: I value a good manicure for a variety of reasons. Mostly, because it’s a good way to feel polished, put together and ready to conquer for a very small investment. You can change it to suit your moods, tell a visual story and communicate who are. Manicures are important to me. Also, I talk with my hands regularly enough that it matters. It just does. I like what I like.

OK, enough life lessons. Let’s get to the review.

Day 1: My manicure is fresh, shiny and basic. I like basic. I’m turning 30 this year, basic appeals to me. I finish applying the system quickly as it was pretty straight forward and the instructions were easy. I feel like money and am checking my hands every other minute.

dude fresh manicure GIF

Day 2: Nothing new or fancy. Still shiny. No chips.

Day 3: This day was like finding out the guy you’ve gone on 2 dates with has a girlfriend. You’re blindsided. Day 3 wasn’t pretty and neither was my mood. I’m over it already. Keep in mind, I sealed the tips of my nails with color and topcoat. The shine dulls a bit starting today but easily comes back with hand moisturizer or cuticle oil. If I wasn’t writing about my experience, I’d have removed the polish at the start of Day 3. Take a look for yourself (and excuse my cuticles):

Day 3 Vinylux
CND Vinylux, Day 3 (Left Hand)
Day 3 Vinylux _ Right Hand
CND Vinylux, Day 3 (Right Hand)

Day 4: Not much different from yesterday. No change in chipping or wear on the tips. New nail growth is just beginning to peak through but doesn’t look terrible. Thankfully, the new MAC lipsticks I ordered arrive in the mail and I have a happy distraction because I’m still over this. I can’t wait to get rid of this manicure because as Marie Kondo teaches us, it doesn’t bring me joy. Around 8pm, I cave and do the only thing I think can help without full on cheating…file my nails down a tiny bit so it doesn’t look like I’m completely a hot mess. It helps, but doesn’t solve all my polish problems. I give up and go to bed eventually.

Day 5: The chips are making me antsy and I feel self conscious, hiding my hands and nails from anyone who I think might catch a glance and judge my entire life, because honestly, I would. Does this system last 7 days? Maybe for a more relaxed, go with the flow type of person. But with me? NOPE. No sir, no thanks. The “manicure” (can we really call it that if it doesn’t perform? I feel petty) comes off. I’m instantly relieved.

Day 6: New manicure, who dis?

evelyn im back bitches

Final thoughts: I’m glad I tested the mini kit version of this nail system because after being curious about it’s performance for so long and being excited about its color offerings, had I purchased full size bottles and it “performed” the way it did for me–which in my opinion, was to not perform at all–I would’ve been beyond disappointed and annoyed. I obviously take my nails seriously and feel that as far as development and production goes, especially in the drugstore space, it’s relatively easy to get a good formula and keep the price point affordable. With that said, I’m overall just confused about this system and all the rave reviews it gets.

Of course, everyone is different and if you decide to try this system I would do start with a mini kit and go from there.

Would I purchase again? No.

malaysia girl bye

…but it’s good to try new things!!

Until next time!

xo-Layla

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Layla Tries: CND Vinylux Nail System–Does It Really Last 7 Days?

Layla Tries: CND Vinylux Nail System–Does It Really Last 7 Days?

As you may already be aware, one of my beauty resolutions was to try to leave give my nails a chance to reach their natural, full potential. I like to try different nail shapes and I find that having length is personally the best day for me. However, this would mean I would need to make less frequent polish changes a way of life. Fine, whatever.

So, if I’m going keep this resolution I need 2 things: a long wear DIY system, and a color range that will keep me interested and cover all of my bases (work, play, in between).

Fast forward to earlier this week when I’m at CVS on my way home from work and I’ve got my items in hand, and I make to check out line and BOOM…everything goes quiet because I see the cutest, mini nail polish system kit. Upon further inspection? It’s CND’s Vinylux 7 Day Wear system in one of its best selling shades: “Married to Mauve.” My first thought? “OK, CND–this is genius. Second thought? “Grab. One. Now.”

And, here we are: 20 minutes after application with a shiny manicure in a classic color. But will it last 7 days though?? We’ll see. I’m optimistic. But, I’m also ready for heartbreak. I’ve been on the fence about trying this system for what seems like years now…and each time, I get really close to purchasing a full size color and topcoat (which are the only 2 steps you need, as base is included with color) and then I balk at the potential financial loss of upwards of $20 if the manicure doesn’t work out. Will this mini kit, I feel safer to try and if it doesn’t work out, it’ll be much easier for me to simply throw the tiny bottles away–no guilt, no fuss, just trial and error.

The mini duo sets come in other colors but I won’t lie to you–they’re scattered and hard to find. I’ve only seen the mauve color at my local CVS, and I know that Ulta has the duo in the shade “Wildfire” which you can check out here. But beyond that? Finding other colors may be a full-time search. So, either of the two colors I mentioned are perfectly adequate for simply trying this out. The full size colors are available at many more retailers (including Walgreens, Ulta, CVS, and Target) so if we end up loving this system, we’ll have no trouble building our collection up!

Okay here’s the deal: I’ll test this for 7 days and take pictures on Days 3, 5, and 7 (possibly 8 if I need to stretch through Sunday Brunch before removing) and on the last day, I’ll post an update with my thoughts and a final decision on whether I’ll be purchasing more colors or not. Sound good? Cool. I’m excited too ;)

See you in a week! Stay shining–just like the best manicures xo

Layla

2018 Health, Wellness and Beauty Resolutions

2018 Health, Wellness and Beauty Resolutions

Happy New Year! It’s finally here, 2018. Are you as excited as I am?

I’m very hopeful for this new year. 2017 wasn’t terrible to me but it definitely shed some light on areas of my life that I can work to improve. If 2017 gave report cards, I would’ve failed in the stress and self-care department. Big time. No catch up assignments.

But, if a new day can bring about a complete improvement, so can a new year. So, keep reading for my 2018 resolutions for beauty, health and wellness.

Drink more water. I don’t do so bad in this area but I can definitely do better. There are a lot of benefits to drinking water, we’ve all heard them. For me, I want to specifically help my body perform its essential functions better: like clearing toxins. I take a lot of heavy-duty medications, sometimes I feel like a walking toxin bin. This is a small, relatively easy thing that I can do, and it’ll yield big results.

More #sheetmasking please! Have you guys jumped on the K-Beauty train? If so, whatever level of K-beauty fan you are, I think we can all agree that sheet masking is God’s gift to skin and self-care routines everywhere. I’m looking forward to scheduling 15-30 minutes of uninterrupted, pure luxuriating relaxation time. I’m going to shoot for 3 times a week minimum. My mind and face is READY.

No more daily nail polish changes. First of all, how did I ever have the time?! Then again, I’m just replacing the daily nail polish changes (don’t judge me) with sheet mask time. I want my nails to be healthy, long and strong, so I’ve got to kick my daily polish remover habit, otherwise, it’s highly unlikely that I’ll get the nails of my dreams. It’s not all sad news though, this resolution will give me a chance to try out some of the at-home gel systems that are available from brands like Sally Hansen and Deborah Lippmann for particularly hectic 2-week or longer stretches.

Treat my brows and lashes with a little more TLC. Y’all already know that I love a good brow and lash look. I’ve never been scared of a heavy-duty mascara and I put my (thin, almost non-existent) brows through their share of wear and tear almost daily with fiber gels and pencils, but up until now I’ve been living on a wing and a prayer that they would both hold up. No more reckless beauty living: it’ll only take a minute or two for me to coat my brows and lashes in castor oil. I’m not looking for miracles, I’m just trying to keep matters from getting worse (read: scraggly).

Perfect a winged eyeliner look. Need I say more? A sharp eyeliner look for my almond-shaped peepers would be fierce. Bonus points for colored eyeliner looks.

Take up yoga and meditation. Again. Save your side-eye. Sometimes the best things take a few times to catch on. And quite frankly, it’s been years since I’ve done either so I feel like I’m actually starting for the first time. The two usually come as a package deal, so…fine. I don’t have to love it to commit to trying again, so I won’t lie and say I’m enthusiastic about it, but the way my Lupus has these joints and muscles set up? Any poses I can do to lessen pain and loosen tight muscles: sign me up. The meditation? That’s for trying to keep my mind clear because I carry a lot.

Stick to a regular sleep routine. 8 hours a night. Most nights. Some nights I need for fun. This also means I’ve gotten stash my devices in another room or something because have y’all been on Twitter lately? So addictive. I digress.

Say ‘no’ more often. Because I’m exhausted to my core from saying yes about 90% of the time. I’m so tired, I could hibernate. Lucky bears.

So, what about you? Any beauty, health or wellness resolutions? Tell me in the comments!

Cheers to a happy, healthy, beautiful 2018 friends! *sips champagne*

xo-Layla

 

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

Head to Toe: My Fave Exfoliators

Head to Toe: My Fave Exfoliators

How long is your daily body care routine? Does it change on the weekend when you (presumably) have more time? My body care routine is about 30 minutes on weekdays. On weekends? All bets are off. I get to luxuriate and it’s fantastic. Self-care is important and it can look like anything to anyone. For me, weekends are for the additional at-home spa moment. Whether it’s a calming shower or bath, followed by a rich moisturizer before I go back to bed, or it’s a DIY manicure and/or pedicure, it’s all important and it all feels absolutely wonderful. Whatever your energy level allows, do it.

One of my most loved things to do is to exfoliate head to toe while I’m in the shower, when I step out I feel like a new, pampered person. Keep reading for the products that I use, and love:

Face: 

Acure Organics Brightening Facial Scrub, $3.99 for 1 Fl. Oz, Target 

This is one of my newest facial scrubs, I think I received the trial size (1 fl. oz) as part of a Target Beauty Box. No matter how it came to me, I’m just glad it did. This is a nice scrub for the face, but it requires a light hand, as it can be too abrasive if you scrub your face with too much pressure. Just a light, circling motion will do you just fine. And yes, your face instantly looks a little brighter after rinsing off.

Modern Friction Nature’s Gentle Dermabrasion, $21-40, Origins 

Not one of my most beloved scrubs and I think it could be more gentle, especially since the word is included in its title and packaging, but it’s effective. This is your pick if you are more mindful of ingredients, environmental impact, and the like.

Derma-E Anti-Wrinke Vitamin A Glycolic Scrub, $13.99, Ulta  

I don’t use this scrub often, but I do like it when I use it and I have a feeling that with its specific targeting towards wrinkles, I’ll be using it more and more (hello, year 29). Give this a go, if you’re starting to see wrinkles in places on your face that you’re not okay with (for me, I’m okay with laugh lines, forehead wrinkles though? No, thanks)

Hands:

Just A Minute 60-Second Manicure Scrub, $12, Bath and Body Works 

This citrus fragranced, sugar scrub isn’t necessary, but it’s a nice treat to have around. Your hands take a beating daily from all of the touching, shaking, washing, typing, etc. Keep the skin on your hands looking young, and bright by using this about once a week, and following it with a rich, creamy lotion or oil.

Body:

Soap & Glory Flake Away Body Polish, $13.99, Target  

I had been hearing about this sugar exfoliator for months before I decided to finally give it a try. That was almost a year ago, and I have literally used every ounce of this gentle, moisturizing product since first trying it. It took a little getting used to, as my skin is typically dry and itchy and so I was unsure of how often I should use this, but once I got the hang of it and starting using it once weekly, my skin began to rebel less and become less dry and itchy, and it holds moisture much longer. If you have dry, sensitive, itchy or otherwise timid skin, sugar exfoliators are going to be your go-to, leave the salt scrubs alone. Your skin will thank you.  Also, I have to mention this scrub’s scent, which is the brand’s Original Pink fragrance and includes bergamot, mandarin, rose, peach, strawberry, jasmine, and a few other yummy notes. You’ll be hooked immediately.

Shea Exfoliating Sugar Body Scrub, $7-$24.00, The Body Shop 

If you’re like me and sometimes want something more less fragrant (this smells faintly like the Shea nut it is derived from), and more down to earth, then this is the sugar scrub for you. Also, for the sensitive or irritate skin types, this scrub gets the job down with no fuss. It’s also moisturizing, although less than the Soap & Glory polish, so you’ll have to be ready to hop out of the shower, apply another moisturizer and lock it in before your skin has a chance to fully dry. If you’re looking for a way to try out sugar exfoliators, this is a good introduction as you can purchase a small size (1.7 fl.oz) for only $7. Can’t beat that!

Feet: 

Earth Therapeutics Refreshing Foot Scrub, $4.96, Walmart 

I use this in the shower, even though the directions explicitly tell you to use this on dry feet. The shower is easier for me. This is great for use in between professional pedicures to keep your feet from becoming too dry, cracked and crusty–not cute in warm weather, sandal season. This scrub is quick and easy. Note: if you use this on dry feet, as directed, then you may experience some tingling as it contains peppermint and tea tree oil. That’s normal, but of course, if you feel uncomfortable in any way, rinse your feet, and find something more soothing for your dogs.

Those are my exfoliator picks, I hope you enjoyed reading about them and that you’ll give one, two or a few, a chance. How often do you give your body a fresh skin start? Let me know by leaving a comment.

Talk soon, xo-Layla
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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

Drugstore Goodies, Part II

Drugstore Goodies, Part II

I’m back! Boy, can’t believe it’s been almost 24 hours since we last chatted. Time flies when you’re…living life (hey, it can’t always be fun, right?)

Okay, so you know the deal. I love to pick up things in drugstores. I hit up 3 this weekend…yada, yada, yada.

Here are the last 5 items I got from my drugstore roundup:

Studio 35 Beauty Pumice Stone, price varies dependent on Walgreens location: My feet loves warm and cozy things, namely socks. Feels great, especially in the colder months but come summer my poor feet are in need of a lot of attention. While I haven’t tried this yet, one look at the uniquely shaped, coarse tool and it was a no brainer. Tossed it right into my cart. Can’t wait to soak my feet in my brand new makeshift pedicure tub (hint: I got it at Home Depot) and scrub away to super soft skin.

CoverGirl Clump Crusher Extensions Lashblast Mascara in Very Black, $8.99: I liked the original version well enough so decided to pick this up. For some reason, I feel like the brush is slightly smaller. This alone makes it a little harder for me to get to my lashes which are in between skimpy and normal. This won’t be my everyday mascara, but I’ll most likely end up using it when I’m in a bind: like I’m in a rush to get out the door but I’ve run out of my usual mascara. If you were thinking of getting this, I would think twice. For the price of a few lattes, it’d be a shame to purchase this and not be happy.

Burt’s Bees Hydrating Lip Balm with Coconut & Pear, $2 (on sale at Rite Aid): Love the tropical, fruity scent. Not a fan of the texture for this one if you’re into layering it under other lip products but is a great lip moisturizer on its it. Speaking of layering: if you do like to have a little moisture as foundation before swiping on another lip product, my holy grail is Burt’s Bees Honey formula.

Nivea A Kiss of Cherry Fruity Lip Care, $1 (on sale at Rite Aid): Very moisturizing; beautiful, natural looking sheer wash of color. Need I say more?

TRIM Nail Care Sticks, $6: These are quite the handy little nail tools (no pun intended). There are 4 in each pack, each with dual ended purposes. One end looks like your standard orange stick. You’d use this side to push back cuticles. The other end is wrapped in colored texture. This end is for cleaning underneath your nails. Effective, simple, inexpensive. Buy these.

Don’t forget, tomorrow is my personal beauty consultation with Jodie from DooBop!!! I was going to post about it right after the call but I think I will wait until I receive my first box and give you one post filled with DooBop chat. How’s that sound? Great? Good. Great minds and all…

Well, time for me to hit the hay, um is it written somewhere that once you turn 26 your bed time suddenly becomes 9pm? BUM-MER.

Talk soon.

xo, Layla