Monday, March 2, 2015

Taking on Nail Wraps

I've been hearing a lot recently about the nail wraps trend. Quick application, no clumpy polish, no drying time- it sounds like a dream come true, right? A few days ago, B Nails sent me their Spotted Love nail wraps to review, so I finally had the chance to try this growing trend!
Each pack comes with sixteen nail wraps, two cuticle sticks, a paper ruler, and a mini nail file.

To apply these wraps, you first paint the nail with a base coat. Then, push your cuticles down and measure the width of your nail to see which wrap fits best. Take the desired wrap and place it on your nail, smoothing out any air bubbles with your cuticle stick and filing away the excess.

I ended up really liking the way these turned out! It's a fairly simple process, and with enough practice, it would be easy to apply these in the mornings before school or work, making them perfect for a girl on the go that doesn't have time to sit and wait on her nails to dry!
One thing I didn't love about these was the size of the wraps. Although there was one for most all of my nails, there were a few (like my pinky in the image below) that didn't completely cover my nail, leaving a bit of bare space on the sides. Also, I found that, while filing away the excess nail wrap, it also chipped slightly at the remaining wrap still on my nail. That may just be my inexperienced beginner's hand, but it was a little inconvenient.

Other than that, I really liked the end result! It looks very natural, and the elimination of drying time was a huge deal for me since I always end up smudging my polish before it fully dries! 
You can check out B Nails  at their website here to view their huge range of patterns as well as on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
What do you think about the nail wrap trend? Are you ready to jump in, or are you sticking to your traditional polish? Let me know in the comments below!'

Disclaimer: Although this is a sponsored post, it was in no way influenced by B Nails. All of my opinions are my own. 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Reverse Cat Eye Tutorial

The cat eye is a classic makeup look that every woman has worn at least once in her life. As stunning as this look can be, there's always the need for something new every once in a while. I've been seeing the reverse cat eye all over Pinterest lately, and I decided to try my take on this revamped look by giving it a more subtle tone.
To begin the look, I first prepped my lid by giving it a light dusting of white shadow.
Next, I took a black eyeliner pencil by Starlooks and completely filled in my lower waterline.

Then, I took that same pencil and dotted along the outer side of my lashline and blended it using an angled eyeliner brush. Dotting along my lashline rather than drawing the line gave the look a smokey effect that wasn't too harsh.


For the wing, I brought my eyeliner out from the corner of my eye, arching it upwards. Then, I took a smudging brush and blended the liner in over my crease.

To give my crease more definition, I took a black shadow and barely dusted that over it.

I topped the look off with a black mascara by Buxom.

I absolutely love this look, and it's quick enough that you could do it before class or work in the morning without running late. I was complimented on my makeup all day when I wore this earlier in the week, and it's definitely something I'm going to be trying again. 
What do you think of this take on the cat eye? Do you prefer the original, or are you going to be rocking the revamped version?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

My Top 6 Looks from Elle Style Awards 2015

The Elle Style Awards always have some drop-dead red carpet looks, and this year, I just couldn't resist the temptation to share my favorites. The looks this year were different than usual in the fact that many of them could be worn off the red carpet, and the celebrities and models both slightly dressed-down their looks for this event.
M.I.A. had one of my favorite looks of the event. She chose something more casual that "real" people could wear on a daily basis, and she still managed to fit in with all of the glam and excitement going on around her. She rocked soft waves with her army green outfit and chunky heels, adding some thigh-length socks to keep warm in her shorter skirt. 
Model Abbey Clancy wasn't about to let being pregnant stop her from looking amazing! She was stunning in a Marc Jacobs 60's-inspired mini dress and heels. With her strappy black heels and simple white clutch, Abbey kept with a classic color scheme and had one of my favorite outfits of the night.
I love seeing a more unique, playful outfit on the red carpet, and Ella Catliff wore a romper that was to die for. The pink and black print was fun and energetic and portrayed this blogger's style beautifully. Her pale lavender bag carried her unique theme throughout the rest of the outfit, and her pointed-toe shoes tied it all together.
Mary Charteris wore a bold, black ensemble by Dolce & Gabbana and complimented the dark colors with simple, nude makeup. Her black pumps by Miu Miu were my favorite shoes of the night, and her matching jewelry and Jimmy Choo handbag gave her a glamorous finish.
Leigh Lezark had another unique outfit. This Misshapes member rocked a gorgeous ensemble by Mary Katrantzou featuring floral patterns and soft colors that looked perfect with Leigh's pale complexion and dark hair. She topped it off with a pair of strappy heels by Tabitha Simmons.
Lastly is the lovely Taylor Swift. I'm still in awe of her shoulder-length haircut, and it's always great to see her pull it back so we can see her beautiful face. This form-fitting emerald dress by Julien Macdonald is cinched at the waist and opens up near the bottom, exposing a pair of black heels. The black detailing on the dress is stunning, and the cut of the dress is extremely flattering. This is by far one of my favorite looks Taylor's rocked on the red carpet recently.
What looks did you like from this year's Style Awards? Let me know your favorites in the comments below!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A Chat With Allison Raskin

We all have that one pastime we do that is pretty meaningless but can provide ages of enjoyment, and for me, that's watching Buzzfeed videos. I love watching these, and their actors are absolutely hilarious. Allison Raskin- writer, actor, media expert, and overall sweetheart- is one of my favorite Buzzfeed actors, and I recently had the opportunity to interview her! Today, I'm sharing a bit about her and what she said!
1. What made you realize that acting and working in the media was for you?
I fell into acting through writing and comedy. I went to school for screenwriting and joined an improv group and then started casting myself in my own sketches. Basically, I started writing roles for myself and then convinced a couple of other people to cast me, too.
2. How did you put yourself out there? 
I kept making stuff and showing up. Even when some people told me not to.
3. What was it like moving across the country for the first time?
I was lucky because I went to college in LA, so the transition was cushioned by a freshman dorm and organized activities. It then took years for me to actually feel like I knew the city, but by the time I graduated, I was "used to" living so far away.
4. How did you deal with that huge change?
I call my parents multiple times a day.
5. How did you begin working with Buzzfeed?
My comedy partner Gaby Dunn was hired for a temporary residency and she cast me in a video. I then got a residency and somehow we convinced them to hire us full-time.
6. When did you meet Gaby, and how has that friendship influenced your life?
I met gaby on the sidewalk waiting for an open mic. This friendship has changed my life in ways that I can't even describe. Most significantly it has given me a new person to text whenever I am bored.
7. What made you decide to start Just between Us?
We were frustrated with our careers and wanted to take matters into our own hands by producing content and feeling productive. Never thought it would grow as much as it has. That has been a wonderful surprise.
Photo by CJ Johnson
8. Is creating content for your own channel a different experience that it is with Buzzfeed?
It's definitely different because we don't have anyone to answer to on JBU, but Buzzfeed is incredible because of the resources and collaboration. It also allows us to shoot content outside of Gaby's apartment.
9. What milestones are you looking to accomplish in the near future?
I just want to keep growing and making content that I'm proud of. I want the chance to say yes to more and more opportunities.
You can find Allison at her main site here, and you can catch her making videos over at Buzzfeed and her relationship advice YouTube channel, Just Between Us! I love watching her and how her career is evolving, and I look forward to seeing how she progresses!. Do any of you want to pursue a career in acting? Let me know in the comments below!
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Links à la Mode: February 26th

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Sunday, February 22, 2015

#IpsyLove Glam Bag

Hey guys! It's been a few days since my last post, and it's because I just got a new camera (yay!), and I've been working on figuring it all out. I just received the #IpsyLove Glam Bag for February, and this bag had some awesome products that I can't wait to share with you!
This first product is the Mitchell and Peach Fine Radiance Face Oil. I'm listing this product first because I want to get it out of the ways since it's the one item that I wasn't crazy about this month. It's designed to be applied before makeup to prep your face and give it a natural glow. I applied the recommended three drops and didn't notice a difference at all, so I applied a couple more. There still wasn't any noticeable difference, so I just went on with applying my makeup. I would potentially use this beneath my makeup because I really love the scent, but it didn't do anything for me in terms of appearance.
Next up is a 'Tini Beauty's Pearl Fizz eyeshadow designed by Hollywood makeup artist Rob Scheppy, who is commonly known as Kim Kardashian's go-to makeup artist. I liked this product as much as I really can like a nude eye color, and it gave my lid a nice glimmer. It wasn't anything really unique, but I did like it and would use it again.
One of the products that I did really like is a roll-on fragrance oil from Demeter Fragrance Library in the scent First Love. I've been looking to try one of their perfume oils for quite a while, so I was very excited to find this in my bag. Demeter has a reputation for their unique combinations of different scents, and this perfume lived up to that with hints of lemon zest, jasmine, honeysuckle, water lotus, and white rose. The resulting scent is a really light, pretty smelling perfume, and it isn't overpowering.
On to my favorite item in this bag, a blush by ModelCo in the shade Cosmopolitan. I've been needing a new pinky blush recently, and I was thrilled to find this one in my bag! It gave me a gorgeous color that looks completely natural, giving my cheeks a gorgeous glow.
My last product this month is a creamy lip stain by City Color Cosmetics. I received this in the shade Flirtini, and I really love it. I'm a sucker for a good lip stain, and this one really fits the bill. It gave me a long-lasting color that I didn't have to retouch at all throughout the day, and the color is absolutely stunning. My only recommendation would be to wear an untinted lip balm beneath it. With all of the cold weather this time of year, it can be a bit drying without that added layer of moisturization.
Overall, I'm very pleased with this month's bag of products, and I can't wait for next month! I'm looking to get back on track with posting frequently again in the coming week, and I hope you all have a lovely start to your week!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Vanish Hair Color Remover Review

I hope you all had a lovely Valentine's Day yesterday! I spent my day doing something a bit unusual- removing hair dye, which turned out to be quite a process. As you may remember, I tried out a hair color remover called Color Oops (find that review here) a while back when I was trying to get some purple-red color out of my hair. I wasn't really crazy about that remover, so I decided to try a higher-quality product this time, Vanish.
Let me tell you how my hair was when I began this process. After I removed that dye from a while back with Color Oops, my hair turned a light red, so I dyed over it with a brown color that I liked for a while. Then, I went in and had it dyed purple, but the stylist that colored my hair messed up and dyed the bottom half of my hair greenish blue instead of purple. Sounds crazy, right? Needless to say, I was not planning on getting my hair dyed at a salon anytime soon. I had purple dyed over the bluish areas a week later, and that basically turned it black. Then, the purple was fading, so the green was showing, and I reapplied the purple, and- surprise- it faded again. I decided that I would just have to ditch the green altogether and start from scratch.

The problem was that I didn't want to use bleach on my hair, so I scoured the web for a new color remover, and that's when I found Vanish. It can only be sold in-store if you have a license, so since I'm not licensed, I ordered mine on Amazon. It comes in two bottles which you combine before applying, and it contains 2-3 applications depending on how thick your hair is. I have really thick hair, but since it's layered a lot, I was able to get three applications out of it, but I didn't really need it, so I just used two and left the rest for the next time I need to remove a color. 
It's definitely a hassle to use this product. First, you shampoo your hair. The instructions on the box didn't specify as to how many times you should shampoo before applying, and most reviews that I read said to shampoo twice, so that's what I did. Then, you're supposed to mix the contents of each bottle to a 1:1 ratio, so I just took three teaspoons of each bottle and combined them in a plastic bowl. 

You're supposed to apply this with something like a dye brush or cotton, but I found it too watery to apply with a brush, so I just used my hands and saturated my already wet hair with it. Let it be said that the smell of this product is horrid. It contains sulfur, which is probably one of the worst things I've ever smelled in my life, and it left my bathroom stinking for the rest of the day. After application, you're supposed to let it sit for up to twenty minutes with heat, so I blow-dried mine for twelve minutes and just let it sit for another five before rinsing.
To shampoo my hair, I used Selsun Blue dandruff shampoo because it has a low PH level and is chock-full of sulfates, which makes it a good shampoo for getting all of that color out of your hair. I shampooed mine three times and let the shampoo sit for about two minutes while I scrubbed the mess out of my hair to get rid of those dye molecules.

After that, I pulled out the developer. After using Vanish, you're supposed to take a 10 volume developer and apply that to your hair, letting it sit for ten minutes before shampooing it out. I read in many reviews that it didn't really matter what volume the developer was, so I bought a 20 volume developer from L'oreal since I really wouldn't have any future use for a 10 volume, and I didn't want to waste money on a whole bottle of developer that I'd never use again. I washed my hair after this once, then let my hair air-dry since it was already worn-out enough from all of that shampooing. 
After the first application, my hair looked pretty good. Practically all of the weird colors had been removed, and my hair was a medium brown color. The main goal of doing this for me was to get my hair as light as possible since I'm planning on redying it purple without any green, so I decided to try another round of Vanish to see if I could get my hair closer to the blonde it had been before I started dying my hair in the first place. My hair was really dry after shampooing so much, so I waited until the next day to repeat the same steps on my hair. It didn't really give much change, but the brown was a bit lighter, and my roots were very blonde, so it appears to have removed every trace of the purple and green dyes. 

Overall, I'm very pleased with how this product worked for me. It removed dye that had been in my hair for about two months, which is pretty good. I didn't expect to get much change concerning the brown dye since it's been in my hair for close to six months, which makes it very hard to remove, so the lift I got on that was pretty good. 

A few things worth noting:

This product will stink up your bathroom. I'd recommend standing on a towel while doing this to make sure you don't get any on your floor and to wash everything else that came in contact with Vanish immediately after use.

Vanish will also stain clothes, so make sure you use a shirt that you don't mind staining for this process. I have quite a few old t-shirts that I use just to sleep in, so I used one of those.

Your hair is going to be extremely dry after using this. I only used three applications, and I ended up shampooing my hair twelve times. Although the box says you can use it up to three times daily, I'd definitely recommend waiting at least a day between applications like I did to give your hair a bit of a break, especially if you don't have really healthy hair. I'm really regretting not deep conditioning my hair between sessions of this, so you can bet I'll be doing that tonight!

Don't skip out on the developer at the end! Your hair may look as light as you're going for, but that, unfortunately, isn't the case. The developer process is designed to bring out the color molecules you've missed in your hair. If you don't do this, they'll gradually return over the course of the next couple of days. After you've used the developer, check your hair, and if it isn't as light as you'd like, that's how you know when to do another application of Vanish.

This product does not lighten your hair. To do that, you're going to need bleach. This product merely removes unwanted artificial hair color.

If your hair color has been in for a while like the brown had for me, the odds are against you getting it all out, especially if you try and do it with just one application. You'll get more lift with more than one application, but sometimes, you're just not going to get it all out.

**This is not a sponsored post. I paid for these products myself, and my opinions are in no way influenced by Vanish.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Five Tips for Rocking Your Natural Hair

Hair can be an absolute pain at times. It requires our constant attention, and if we neglect styling it for just a day, it can be a disaster. We all know that heat styling is damaging to our hair depending on how often we use it, but most of the time, we just can't help but plug in the straightener or curling iron to tame our insane natural hair. Today, I'm sharing my favorite tips for days when I need to lay off the heat and wear my hair naturally.
Keep in mind that I have naturally wavy hair. I have no idea how these tips work on other hair types, but I'd definitely still recommend at least giving them a shot.

Updos are an extremely valuable tool for wearing your hair naturally. Experimenting with half-ups, braids, and ponytails are some of my favorite ways to wear my hair without bothering with heat products. The side french braid is a favorite of mine, and I also love the half-up french braid if I'm looking for something a bit different!

Another thing I love using is mousse. When your hair is just completely out of control, it's one thing that goes a long way. Try taking some water and spritzing your hair with it before running some mousse through it to tame those tresses. Your hair will dry in the style you've created using your mousse! I use a wonderful whipped mousse by B. The Product for this, which I reviewed a few months ago here!

To get straight hair without a blow dryer or a flat iron, you're going to need a straightening serum. I use one by Dear Clark, and I have a full review of it here! It's a miracle worker for keeping my hair straight. You just run it through damp or dry hair, brush it to ensure even distribution, and let it dry naturally.

If it's body you're lacking, I'd recommend using a texturizing spray or gel when air-drying. Try scrunching your damp or wet hair with a sea salt spray, a gel, or a curling mousse to enhance your natural waves and add some body. My favorite is Not Your Mother's Beach Babe spray, which I reviewed last year here!

When all else fails, hairspray is always there! Spritz a brush or your fingertips with your favorite hairspray and try taming your hair with that. Hairspray is a always girl's best friend!

What do you do to avoid crazy hair days without heat styling? Let me know in the comments below!

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Links à la Mode: February 19th

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