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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The 6 Products I’m Using Obsessively To Keep My Skin Hydrated This Winter

The 6 Products I’m Using Obsessively To Keep My Skin Hydrated This Winter

(Bring this with you on your next beauty shopping trip!)

Winter isn’t inherently evil. Sometimes it’s beautiful (first snowfall), and sometimes it’s it’s just got annoying bits to it (when first snowfall leads to next snowfall, and the next…)

But however you may feel about Winter, we can all agree that it can wreak total havoc on our skin, from head to toe. Between the indoor heating that sucks moisture from the air, and the freezing temperatures that can make your skin dry, chapped, cracked and otherwise uncomfortable, our skin has got its work cut out for itself.

But I’m not going down without a fight. So, keep reading to my personal winter weather skin arsenal. It’s relatively easy and all but one of the products are under $20!

Now, these are not in the order of my love and preference, but rather the order in which I apply them, let’s get into it:

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Milk, $28, Sephora

Clinique's Take The Day Off Cleansing Milk
 Courtesy: Clinique/Sephora

I originally purchased this product after a particularly rough bout of dry, rash ridden skin. It was so sensitive to the the touch and this creamy makeup remover/cleanser felt like a calming dream. You apply this dry, massage it over your face and then add a bit of water to your hands and massage again. Then, rinse off and feel refreshed. It’s pricey, and honestly, after I’m done with this product, I’m most likely try a drugstore equivalent (Yes To Cucumbers makes one that’s got me curious), but for now it’s what I have and I don’t want to waste product, and it’s wildly effective. If you have Ultra Sensitive skin, skip the drugstore and go for this tried and true allergy-free formula. The cost is worth it for peace of mind and it lasts you quite a while because you only need a little at a time to do a big cleansing job.

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream (Mini Tube), $12, Sephora

First Aid Repair Cream Mini Tube
Courtesy:                                 First Aid Beauty/Sephora

I have the full size tube of this cream. It’s fantastic. I first got hooked on First Aid Beauty through a few samples that were included in an online Sephora order. Ever since then? Nothing but my complete devotion. Don’t get me wrong, Clinique is a classic when it comes to tending to sensitive skin, but First Aid Beauty is innovative in the way it caters to the same market. Products like oatmeal masks, lip exfoliants, glycolic peel pads, serums, firming sleeping cream, and body lotion mists (just to name a few), there truly is something for everyone. You can read about their lip hydration set here.

This cream comes in a variety of formulas and packaging. Their tub boasts intense hydration, which must be superhuman level because their plain old tube is incredibly hydrating already. I prefer tubes because I feel they are more sanitary. You can use this cream any time of the day for a non-greasy, heavy dose of hydrating and soothing goodness.

Boots Hydration Burst 3 in 1 Micellar Cleanser, $6.69, Target

Courtesy: Boots/Target

I will forever sing the praises of Micellar Water, the gentle, effective way to remove makeup and cleanse your skin, without leaving it stripped, dry or tight after. This particular formula is for dehydrated and sensitive skin, which I think can be anyone during winter. Bonus points for being alcohol-free. All you need is a cotton pad and 2 minutes, then you’re good to go! Double bonus points for also being available at Walgreens (although not in every location sadly).

Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Cucumber and Green Tea, $5-12, Ulta

Courtesy: Mario Badescu/Amazon

The only thing that I might be more obsessed with than sheet masks are facial mists and sprays. I love the Tatcha Dewy Skin Mist ($18, Sephora), but sometimes a girl’s gotta skip the fancy packaging and go the the simple ingredients that just work. 

This mist is the quintessential basic but better situation. 3 soothing ingredients, all packed together to give you a refreshing, completely saturating dose of moisture and hydration. This mist comes in other varieties, including lavender and rose water, but when it comes to perking up dry, irritated skin, this aloe, cucumber and green tea combination cannot be beat. Bonus points for being available in a $5 (!!) travel size so you can mist and refresh throughout the day.

Palmer’s Coconut Oil Formula Body Oil, $6.99, Walgreens

Courtesy: Palmer’s/Walgreens

I have tried so many lotions. So. Many. Only one has been able to provide the kind of hydration my skin needs year round but especially in the winter. Problem is, it’s pretty rich and after applying, I experience muscle aches and pains and need to lay down (#LupusSucks). So I decided to cut myself a break and find something easier to apply that would still moisturize my skin for a full day. Heellooo body oils. I was first thinking about almond, grapeseed or argan oil. But, on a quick trip to Walgreens, I discovered this product. For the price, I was willing to give it a try and not love it. I tried it. I don’t love it, but it does a nice job so I’m definitely not complaining. Instant hydration? Check. Greasy skin? Nope, not here. Smooth and soft? Double check. The caveat here is that coconut oil can be cosmogenic (that is, pore clogging). I wasn’t too worried about this because I use a soap that mildly exfoliates everyday. If you don’t or can’t exfoliate regularly, I would think twice about using coconut oil on your skin. If you need recommendations on alternatives, drop a comment below.

And last but certainly not least…

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Lip Treatment, $8.99, Ulta

Courtesy: Neutrogena/Ulta

…this surprisingly good lip product. I’ve already hit bottom in one area of this pot. Don’t let the color fool you, this super hydrating balm goes on completely clear. It has a bit of slip at first but seems to thicken a bit when applied and sinks into your lips beautifully. I use in the morning before applying any other lip products and before bed as a lip mask. Put this on and allow some time for this to naturally go to work and do its thing. The best part about this treatment is that it doesn’t make you feel like you need constant application. One application, twice a day will do you just nicely.

Well, I hope you all enjoyed this post and find it helpful. Please feel free to comment below with any questions. And I’d love to hear how you protect and hydrate your skin in the winter too.

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