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

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BeautyBlender Dupe??

BeautyBlender Dupe??

Friends, lend me your ears!

I know, I’m dramatic sometimes. But some things just require a bit of uumph, for emphasis.

Before I get into the possibility of having found a perfectly usable, although imperfect, BeautyBlender dupe, let me set you up with a little bit of background…

I’ve always been responsible. That’s what people say about me, they’ve said it for years. It’s a point of pride more than it’s something I consider a flaw. That said, the balance that stares back at me when I go to check my savings account is…sobering. Am I disappointed? Greatly. Do I know I’ve done my best? Absolutely. Doesn’t change the way my breath catches when I stare at that balance though.

Because of this, I told myself I’d be more diligent about finding beauty products that performed well but didn’t cost me an arm and a leg. The first product that I needed to replenish after having said this to myself? My beloved BeautyBlender. Of course it was. I sucked my teeth a bit when I realized what I had promised and what it now meant that it was time to re-up on a sponge. But, I stuck to my word and I went on a drugstore hunt (which let’s be honest, these days is a lot of fun!)

So, about this potential dupe…

It looks the same. Here it is in it’s package:

Rite Aid Daylogic Your Best Blend Specialty Sponge_Beauty Blender Dupe
Daylogic’s Your Best Blend Specialty Sponge in the High Definition Variety

Basically the same color, same shape. Fine. Great.

Here’s what it looks like after one full use:

Daylogic Specialty Blend Sponge
Daylogic’s Specialty Sponge (After 1 Full Use and Before Washing)

Let’s talk about some major differences you might notice if you’re used to using the BeautyBlender on a regular basis.

First, the price. Whoa my goodness, the price! BeautyBlender’s can run $20 a pop, this drugstore dupe cashed in at $4.99. My debit card hit the Milly Rock at checkout. Ha! The bonus here is that if you’re a Gold Member w/ Rite Aid’s loyalty program, then you can take an additional 20% off of that $4.99 retail price, which makes it $3.99! SCORE.

Weirdest of all things: it’s heavier than the BeautyBlender. Yes, I know–that’s odd. But it is. Especially at what feels like is its core. I’m not sure why this is, but it’s something noticeable so I’m mentioning it. You get used to it after a few minutes so we keep moving…

The application was BEAUTIFUL! I was very impressed with how smoothly my foundation went on and blended out. But, there were a few spots where application was patchy because of small rashes or spots where my skin was extra dry (even though I heavily moisturized last night, UGH). So I built the coverage up a bit to handle that which would probably be what I’d do with a BeautyBlender as well.

The other difference that confused me at first, was that the directions don’t include wetting the sponge before use. It does say to wash after each use though. Personally, I don’t like dry sponges. I chose to wet this sponge. It was fine. We’ll see how it holds up in the long run (a month hopefully with daily washes, but we’ll see).

Bottom line: is it worth a try? For the price, yes. Do I miss the BeautyBlender? Kind of. If you can afford it and it truly is a bright spot in your beauty routine, then treat yourself. But if you’re like me and looking for ways to cut back without causing any real sadness or feelings of deprivation that alter your outlook on your daily living, then run to Rite Aid. And make sure you use your loyalty card if you have one!

Disclaimer: This post was NOT sponsored by Rite Aid. All opinions and remarks are my own, based on my honest thoughts and opinions. 

What do you guys think? Will you be trying this BB dupe?

What other under-the-radar drugstore dupes have you found? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time. xo-Layla

 

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

Layla Loves: Micellar Water

Layla Loves: Micellar Water

I just arrived home from work. Shoes come off first. Then my wig (yes, I wear a wig, more on that some other time). Then, off comes my makeup. I look forward to all of these things every day, but especially on days when I am tired and want to just come home and lay down, maybe watch some TV and zone out.

As much as I love to wear makeup and rock a bold lip, I also am growing to love being in my bare-faced skin and I care about it’s health as much as I care about it’s natural appearance. So, I want to make sure that I tell you all about one of my favorite beauty products EVER: micellar water.

In case you haven’t heard more than excited buzz around micellar water, let’s start with the basics. The first (and the only thing, in my opinion) that you need to know is that it’s a beauty secret and staple of French women. Say no more, right?

I heard that micellar water was great for sensitive skin (due to its lack of harsh chemicals, soap, fragrance and alcohol), requires no rinsing, is a great makeup remover, AND is a gentle alternative to most facial wipes on the market (some are soft and treat your skin like the baby it should be viewed as).

At first, I was skeptical. Very skeptical. I tried a small bottle of Simple Micellar Water and was converted to a full fledged believer within a week. My skin felt clean, looked better, felt softer and appeared smoother. On top of that, I hadn’t experienced any new breakouts. I stopped washing my face twice a day with harsh tap water ever since.

Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t stopped washing my face with good old face cleanser and bathroom sink water completely, but cutting down has helped my skin a lot–it’s undeniable.

So, which micellar waters do I use regularly and think you should try? Glad you asked!

Here we go…

The First Love: Simple Micellar Water, 13.5 fl.oz., $8,99, Target

Simple Micellar Water

The Brightening Secret: 

Botanics All Bright Micellar 3 in 1 Cleansing Solution, 8.4 oz., $5.99, Target

botanics all bright micellar

The Oily/Combination Skin Power Punch: 

Bioderma Sebium H2O Solution Micellaire, 500ml, $14.90, Birchbox

Bioderma Sebium H20 Micelle Solution

And since you’re going all in on micellar waters, make sure you are using the right counterparts: facial rounds or ovals. I prefer ovals because of their size (compared to rounds). They’re larger and can cover more of your face in less swipes, saving product and ovals. These are the ovals that I prefer.

So, will you be trying a micellar water? Do you already use them? Let me know your thoughts, and feel free to ask me any questions in the comments.

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