Christmas Decorations : Manicure Monday

mm.2

 

 

I love Christmas decorations! Looking at them each day around the house just makes my day a little bit better. So, I decided to decorate my nails for this week’s Manicure Monday.

I went with a tree, ornaments, lights, and fluffy tinsel. I love it!

mm.2.2 mm.2.3

I can’t decide which I like better – the tree or the lights!

I’m not very good at detail for my right hand (I’ll get there someday) so I just used my trusty dotting tools to add lots of color.

mm.2.1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Polishes Used

  • Background – Essie in Topless & Barefoot
  • Tree – Sally Hansen Complete in On Pines & Needles
  • Red ornaments – China Glaze in Poinsettia
  • Gold ornaments and tinsel – Orly Color Blast in Rose Chrome Foil
  • Star – Sally Hansen Hi-Definition in Lite

I also used my Muji 0.38 gel pens for the lights and detail on the ornament. They’re seriously a nail art lover’s best friend. I’ve yet to use a pen that rivals it. You can get your own Muji pens on Amazon

I always top my manicures with my DIY Gel Manicure Top Coat as well. It ensures that they last, and costs a fraction of the fanciest top coat.

Happy Holidays to you!

Manicure Monday – Snowy Day

mm.1

I’m addicted to nail polish and nail art. I fully admit it. But it’s one of my few vices, and relatively harmless (save for my wallet) habit, so I decided I would start sharing my weekly manicures here with other polishaholics! I’ll show you some of the thinngs that I can do, my favorite places to find designs, and tell you where to find what I use.

I was feeling winter this week, so I went with a blue and snow theme. I used two brushes and a dotting tool for my work, plus my Muji .38 gel pens for decorations. I’m relatively new to using the gel pens, but it’s so much fun to add those little extra touches that make a HUGE difference.

Look at the detail on this snowman!

mm.1

Polishes Used:

Background blue: Orly in Snowcone

Glitter topcoat: Essie Luxe Effects in Pure Pearlfection

Snow color: Julep in Bunny

Come back next week – I’ve got something special planned for Christmas!

Beauty Geek Giveaway

IMG_1643

I’m so excited! Over on our Facebook page we have broken 300 followers! Thank you to everybody, old and new, who has made this possible.

What better time than now to do an awesome giveaway?

I am addicted to beauty stores like Ulta, and I subscribe to beauty boxes like Birchbox, Ipsy, and Julep. Needless to say, I get a LOT of sample products, and I don’t always use what I get – so I’m going to share it with all of you!

What will you find inside this box of goodies? The following:

  • Julep Maven Neutral Eyeshadow Pallette
  • Sinful Colors nailpolish in Jaune Pastel (a lovely yellow)
  • MICA Beauty tinted lip balm
  • Coola Classic Sunscreen in Cucumber
  • Yaby Natural Finish Foundation in Buff
  • Big Sexy Hair Spray and Play Volumizing Hairspray
  • Laura Gellar Spackle Tinted Primer
  • Benefit Cosmetic’s It’s Potent! Eye Cream
  • Versace Yellow Diamond Perfume
  • Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion
  • Smashbox Photo Finish Primer
  • Coastal Scents Medium Shadow Brush
  • Zip up make up case

 Follow the Rafflecopter link below to enter!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/964c4d0a1/

 

DIY Gel Topcoat

 

I am addicted to nail polish.

There, I said it.

I spend too much time and too much money on new colors, tools, and the latest, greatest fad, the gel/shellac manicure. I remember the first time I got one. My oh my, was it pretty. Like glistening raspberries on each of my fingers. Smooth as silk but hard as a rock.

I also remember the price. After which I felt like I had been HIT by a rock. In the wallet. It was $45.00 for my gel manicure. My first thought was to invest in one of the home kits. That was almost worse. A quality starter set was nearly twice that.

That wouldn’t do, so I turned to my dear friend Pinterest. Surely someone had an answer. And by “someone” I mean dozens upon dozens of bloggers and pinners who swore by this two step trick.

I tried it this week, and I’m going to share my thoughts with you.

topcoat

All you need is two little bottles from our friend Sally Hansen. The Hard as Wraps and the No Chip Acrylic Topcoat. This purchase will set you back a mere $9.58.

As I do before painting my nails with anything, I scrubbed them with a sugar scrub and wiped each nail with acetone to make sure they were clean.

I did two layers of color and let them dry. Next, I applied one smooth coat of the No Chip and let them sit. I waited about five minutes and applied the Hard as Wraps.

The result? Take a look.

day1

They were very shiny, which was lovely. They didn’t have the same strength that a salon gel manicure would give – I could press an indentation into the nail – but they were certainly harder than the average topcoat.

My gel manicures at the salon normally last for ten days to about two weeks, depending on how rough I am with them.

day10

This was ten days after I tried the topcoat. I managed to bang my thumb at work in a rush to finish typing an emergency pleading, and it pushed the polish back.

Other than that, I was fairly impressed. The tips of my nails were still coated, and I could see around my cuticle where the nail had grown. It also held up extremely well to nail polish remover – the basic stuff was not good enough. I had to use acetone to remove it completely.

As good as a salon job? Not quite. Great for every day use? Absolutely. A heck of a money saver? You better believe it. You get about 35 coats from the average bottle of nail polish so this will cost you about TWENTY SEVEN CENTS per manicure or a NINTY NINE PERCENT SAVINGS.

$0.27 vs. $45.00? That’s a no brainer.

New Year, New Look Giveaway!

Image

Happy New Year, everybody! 

New Years is a great time to try out a new look or product to make yourself feel good. I subscribe to three beauty box services every month, and I always love trying new things. I’ll be doing a series of posts on them this month.

I thought it would be a great time for a giveaway of some awesome new beauty items!

One lucky follower will receive a box containing the following:

  •  travel size bottle of BigSexyHair blow dry volumizing gel
  • NYX combo eyeshadow/bronzer in Pure Gold
  • Miniature nail file/buffer box from Julep 
  • Tan Towel self-tan towelette for face and body
  • Starlooks Eyeliner in Obsidian
  • JCat faux eyelashes and eyelash glue
  • It’s So Big! Volumizing mascara by Elizabeth Mott
  • Fergie by Wet n Wild eyeshadow palette in Desert Festival
  • Racinne Ultimate Youth Power anti-aging serum
  • Chella Highlighter pencil in Ivory Lace

Want to win this great box? All you have to do is leave a comment on this post! In one week, I’ll use a random number generator to choose a winner!

Do you have a blog? Re-blog this post and you will get TWO entries!

Do you use Facebook or Twitter? Share and tweet this and you’ll get an entry for each one! 

Contest ends 01/13/2014! Good luck!

 

Free Sample! Garnier Triple Nutrition Shampoo

60308421512

Head over to https://secure.startsampling.com/sm/tunelpirt/ and pick up yourself a free sample of Garnier’s Triple Nutrition shampoo. I’m actually pretty excited about this – it has three kinds of oil, Olive, Almond and Avocado. My hair tends to respond well to oil based products.

Comment and let me know if you got yours!

College Care Package Challenge 2013

Image

Hello, followers! I have been a little busy in my life as of late, what with finishing up another semester of school and finally moving into our house, but I finally have something to share with you. A little project I call the College Care Package Challenge. A few couponing friends and I all have either college-age friends or kids and we thought it would be fun to coupon for packages to send along with them to school.

I myself don’t have kids, but I do have a sister in college, and I decided to do this for her.

We decided to set up these requirements for the package – 1. Something fun to share with roommates, 2. Beauty supplies and toiletries, and 3. Food, the one thing college students never, EVER have enough of.

Let me show you the haul for my sister

Image

Great haul, right? But let’s get to my favorite part: telling you how very little I paid for all of it.

TOTAL RETAIL VALUE: $153.96

TOTAL COST PAID: $10.35

TOTAL SAVINGS: $143.61 or a savings of 93%

Want to know how I did it? Let me break it down for you. I took advantage of Kroger Free Friday deals, coupons, 10 for $10 sales, and my love of free samples.

Colgate Cavity Protection toothpaste, retail $2.99 each. This was one item from Kroger’s Free Friday download. However, it was also on sale for ten for ten AND I had a coupon for $1.00 off one. Combing those two offers, I got them for free! FREE

Lady speed stick, retail $3.29. These were also on sale for ten for ten and I had a .50 cents off one which doubled to one dollar off. FREE

Clear therapy shampoo, retail $5.99. Free Friday download. FREE

Venus and Olay razor, retail $9.99. This was a free sample from Target’s beauty box! FREE

Venus and Olay razor, retail $7.99. This was from a prior blogged haul of mine. I paid $1.92

Soft Soap, retail price of  $1.49. These were on sale ten for ten, and I had a .50 cents off one coupon which doubled to one dollar off. FREE

I got the bin, sunscreen, button, pens, and funnel cake kit at the FANTASTIC store Five Below. It was at the top of my list for finding fun stuff. How about a night of making funnel cakes? That sounds fun to me. I also included some random Big Bang Theory swag, just because we’re all big fans of the show. I had a great email coupon for $5.00 off $10.00. The sun screen were BUY ONE GET ONE FREE at $5.99 each. I paid $2.00 for the bin, $4.00 for pens and button, $1.00 for funnel cake kit. Total is $12.99, after coupon I paid $7.99

Cover Girl nail polish: retail $2.99, I used 2.00 off one coupon, paid 99 cents. This was an awesome coupon because the original was for one of the larger sized Cover Girl nail polishes which retail for $6.99 each. Then, Cover Girl came out with the mini Nail-tini line which only cost $2.99 each! Always look around for a smaller option if you can. I’m a big fan of the Nail-tinis, they are really cute colors with even cuter names – I picked Blue Hawaiian for my sister. I paid .99

The Nivea Lotion is a favorite. They retail for $6.49 each, and they were on sale BOGO, plus I had a $5.00 off two Nivea products. I paid $1.49

Kraft Mac and Cheese. They retail for .79 each, and I had an awesome coupon for $1.00 off three. I paid $1.37

Ghirardelli Chocolate Bar. I made a trip to Chicago recently and stocked up on bars. They always do a great deal where you buy four, and get a fifth free. I didn’t include them in my original total retail, but I thought I would include the free bar in the package. After all, who doesn’t love chocolate? FREE

Now, let me get a little more detailed about the makeup case from Ulta. I had a birthday coupon giving me 10.00 off anything in the store, no minimum purchase. They were having an awesome sale on the 3 in 1 bubble bath, shampoo and body wash smoothies that I love – buy two and get two free, so I got four of them for $24.00. Since I spent more than $19.97 on Ulta products, I got the bag of makeup for free. Adding in my birthday coupon, I paid 14.00 for four bottles of body smoothies and a makeup kit that retails for over $88.00. That is fantastic deal.

What do you love to save money on for your favorite college students? Leave a comment and let me know!