Friday, March 28, 2014

My Jewelry Storage

I have a small room in my house that I use to get ready in everyday. I keep my makeup, nail polish, purses, some shoes, and hair stuff in here as well as all of my jewelry. Today I wanted to show you how I store that jewelry. I don't think I have a ton of jewelry but it is enough that I couldn't just use a simple jewelry box so I came up with an easy and affordable set up for me that helps keep my jewelry organized and doubles as decor!

First up, my dangly earrings. 

This is the piece of jewelry I have the least of and I think it is because I have kept my hair so long for so many years that I just don't wear or buy dangly earrings anymore because they get tangled in my hair. The ones I still have left I store on this cute frame my friend made for me using lace ribbon!

Next, stud earrings!

Stud earrings are my weakness, I want to buy them all. Because I have so many I store them a few different ways.

This is a new dish I ordered from Forever 21 for only a few dollars. I keep my newest studs on here. I try not to have more than 10 pairs of earrings on here because if it gets too cluttered I'll forget to wear some of the newer ones.

I got this dish at the thrift store. Here I store mostly pearl and rhinestone studs along with some other older studs I don't wear as much.

Finally I have this box also from Forever 21. Here I keep larger earrings that are still studs but don't fit with the other two dishes. I love the little gold bird on top!

I got this box a few years ago from Forever 21. I've kept different things in it over the years but most recently I've used it to store two costume jewelry rings and a large pair of flower studs that didn't fit in the bird box. I don't wear any of these very often so it made sense to me to have them in their own space.


I have a really fancy set up for my necklaces (ahem... push pins... cough cough)
I see so many cute pictures on Pinterest of necklace storage but I've been storing my necklaces like this since high school and it just works for me! I can move them when I need to and there is always room for more!

Last up, bracelets!

I store my bracelets two ways. The first, above, is on my push pins with my necklaces. I do that with these small beaded bracelets because otherwise my cats find them, chew them, hide them, and break them. No matter how many times I moved the bracelets the cats always found them so finally I put them up high where they can't be reached!

My few other bracelets (I don't have many) are kept in this pink bowl I got on clearance from WalMart like 5 years ago.

And here's how it all looks in the corner of my room...

(with my pretty homemade nail polish rack. *sigh* I just love it)


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Current Nail Polish favorites

These are the polishes I have been using most lately...
{from left to right}
Essie -- Sable Collar
Zoya -- Odette
Sinful Colors -- Soulmate
Deborah Lippmann -- It's Raining Men
& my favorite glitters
{from left to right}
Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure -- Golden Rule
Sephora by OPI -- Spark-tacular!
Maybelline Color Show -- Diamond In the Rough

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Manicure Must-Haves && fun extras!

Pre-Painting Prep!
First I remove whatever polish I'm wearing. I really like this Cutex brand remover!
Next I file, trim, and smooth my nails. I love my Sally Hansen clippers & buffer block.
I love this cuticle oil: OPI Avoplex Nail & Cuticle Replenishing Oil. I've had this for several years and it is still going strong. It has a really nice subtle scent and makes my cuticles so soft!
Occasionally I put my cuticle back and have recently fallen in love with these cuticle pushers from e.l.f. They come in a 2 pack for $1.00 and they are really nice quality!
Base Coat
I have two base coats I really love. The one I've used the longest is the OPI Nail Envy Nail Strengthener. The newest base coat I've fallen in love with is by Orly and it is their Bonder Rubberized Basecoat. These are both great options to use prior to applying color to your nails.
Quick Dry High Shine top coats
('cuz why use anything else ?!)
I've tried many over the years and these are my favorites for the price that dry quick and deliver a really high shine. Both are from Sally Hansen: Dries Instantly and Insta-Dri. Insta-Dri is a bit shinier but the product dries up quicker in the bottle so I feel like Dries Instantly is a better deal because you don't lose out on any product going goopy in the bottle!
Polish Maintenance
Speaking of polish going goopy. When you have a lot of polish or even just a few bottles that aren't getting used up quickly then I recommend a bottle of Nail Polish Thinner. I got this as Sally Beauty Supply for a few dollars and it has saved many a bottle of nail polish. It is normal for an unused polish to get goopy and hard to work with over time but squeeze a few drops of this in bottle, shake it up, and voila! Nail polish saved!
Extras & Embellishments
I love to decorate my nails after painting them. I like doing glitter accent nails or using the Sally Hansen Real Nail Polish strips but I've also come to love rhinestones and stickers. The full nail stickers can be worn alone or over a color and so many brands make them now. Sally Hansen like I mentioned and also Sinful Colors, Essie, NCLA, Sephora, L'Oreal... the list goes on and on.
These gold glitter strips are the newest addition to my collection. I ordered them online from either Groopdealz or Jane... I don't remember. But they make such a cute embellishment to a manicure and how can you go wrong with anything glittery and chevron... right?!
Hope you enjoyed,
what are you nail polish basics and favorite ways to embellish a manicure?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

DIY Nail Polish Rack

I am so excited to show you the homemade wooden nail polish rack that my husband and I made.
For so long I have wanted a nail polish rack that hangs on the wall but the prices online to buy one were out of the question ($60 or more + $20 shipping... I don't think so) so I researched blog posts about diy versions and enlisted my husband to help with the construction.
The wood cost $3.27, we already had screws, brackets, wall anchors, AND the paint. So yes, I only had to spend an additional $3.27 to finally have my nail polish rack!
The boards are 1" x 2" each and the whole thing is 29" tall and 26" wide. The shelves are 24" wide.
I spray painted the whole thing ivory but did not like how the wood looked because all the bumps and flaws were really obvious in the light color. So I took the last of a tube of aqua wood paint and mixed it with some white and a few drops of water to thin it out and painted that over the top. Once the whole thing had dried (which was really quick since the paint was so thin) I sanded over the shelves that had bumpy spots and then sanded the edges to give it a distressed "shabby chic" look.
And Voila!
I have a nail polish rack that was easy to make (thanks to my husband) and is so much more affordable than ANYTHING I could have found online! 
I'm in love with it.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Products I've Used Up!

On and off for the last several months I have been saving products that I used up and finally decided to put up this post so that I can throw them all out! I like reading these kind of posts because so often we only see the new things people buy and their first impressions but never know if that impression was correct or if they end up hating it.
Now you can see everything I actually finished!
I use a makeup wipe every single day. There are a total of 6 full size Simple cleansing facial wipes plus 1 travel size. They are my absolute favorite makeup wipes. They are gentle but effectively get all of my makeup off and they stay wet from the first to the last in the package. At one point I tried a package of the Pacifica Coconut Water cleansing wipes. They smelled amazing and the towel was very soft but they dried out SO quickly and hardly took any of my face makeup off. They'd be nice for a day when I didn't wear makeup and just wanted to refresh my skin but otherwise I would not purchase them again. I returned to my Simple wipes for a while and then heard about the 30 pack Epielle Green Tea cleansing tissues for $1.00 from Big Lots. I really loved them at first but then they started drying out and I had to use two just to get my makeup off. The tissues were very thin and ripped easily. Returning to my Simple wipes made me notice what nice quality they are and I don't see myself switching to a new brand any time soon.

I have never bought name brand eye makeup remover before but I've tried a lot of knock offs of the L'Oreal and Neutrogena kinds. I've learned that I don't like the kinds that say "Compare to Neutrogena" I don't like that oily formula but I will say that the Equate (from WalMart) bottle above with the tan lid (Neutrogena knock off) was the only thing that would take off some waterproof mascara I was using a while back. So I finished the bottle but hated every time I had to use it. The other three bottles are L'Oreal knock offs. I don't see any difference between the Equate brand and Studio35 (which is from Walgreens). I'm using the CVS L'Oreal knock off right now and of the three stores I have no favorite. They all take off my eye makeup quickly and at an affordable price.
I've been trying different toners over the last few months. First was the Neutrogena Acne Stress Control Triple-Action toner and this is the second or third bottle I've used. This has a horribly strong astringent smell but it doesn't linger on the skin. I used this all over my face but tried to concentrate it on my breakouts. I wouldn't use this in the winter though because it can be drying on the skin. Next I used a HUGE bottle of the Mario Badescu Seaweed Cleansing lotion (which is a toner). This was $15.00 I think but I'd used a sample a few years back and fell in love with it. I loved having a huge bottle. This stuff is amazing. It smells good, it removes the last traces of makeup on your skin, and it is not drying at all in fact it is probably the most gentle toner I've ever used and absolutely recommend this to everyone. Last toner I finished was from Sephora and is the Korres Pomegranate toner for oily to combination skin. This wins hands down for the cutest packaging, right!? But that doesn't help my skin. This was a $20.00 impulse purchase. It smelled nice and did remove the last bits of foundation from my skin but it was mildly drying and paled in comparison to my Mario Badescu toner.
I have been struggling to find a moisturizer I love that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. I have some crazy red skin from time to time so I fell for the "visibly reduce redness, soothe irritated or sensitive skin" claims. I didn't see either of those effects on my crazyface but it was moisturizing, didn't stink, and lasted me a real long time. I might buy it again but I'd like to try the Aveeno Positively Radiant daily moisturizer someday. I'm using something new now that I might talk about after I use it for a little while longer.
Secret is my favorite brand of deodorant. I tried the natural mineral line and though it smelled nice I didn't love it as much as my all time favorite Secret Clinical Strength in the "light and fresh scent". It keeps my stinky ol' sweat arm pits under control and they smell so nice all day long. So there's that... haha what else does one say about their deodorant?
I have a roundup of lotions here. Bath&Body Works Pink Grapefruit body lotion smells amazing. My all time favorite scent from B&BW and it breaks my heart that they don't make it anymore. Aquaphor Healing Ointment is great for dry feet and elbows. But my favorite way to use this was on my lips! They get really dry and chapped in this winter and this "ointment" saved my life. Next up, Burt's Bees Almond Milk Beeswax Hand Crème. This comes in the cutest little jar. This is a very thick and moisturizing cream that I liked to use on my hands and elbows. I don't know if I'd buy it again though, just because I have so many lotions and body butters already. I finished a small lotion from a brand called EcoLogique that I bought in a boutique in my area. The lotion was unscented but then I got to choose and mix in any of their scented oils and this lotion in particular was a honeydew scent that smelled exactly like a slice of honeydew melon. The last thing I have to show you is kind of silly because it was only a small sample from Sephora but it is the Tokyomilk/Dark La Vie La Mort hand crème. I loved it so much I bought a full size (for $20, what's wrong with me!?!). It has such a nice scent and is the smoothest lotion I've ever used. It is moisturizing but doesn't leave any oily residue on my hands.
I actually had a third bottle of nail polish remover that I finished but I must have thrown it away because it wasn't in my "empties" bin. I liked the Sally Hansen Extra Strength remover but there was nothing remarkable about it. I would buy it again. I am so glad I have finally finished this monster bottle of ONYX Professionals 100% Pure Acetone. I bought it to remove acrylic nails I was wearing and finished the bottle by using it to remove glitter polish quickly but I hated how this made my fingers feel. I won't be buying pure acetone again if I can avoid because it is so drying!

I saved a couple hair products to show you that I am absolutely in love with. I want to mention the Organix Nourishing Coconut Milk anti-breakage serum. I bought this on a really good sale with a coupon a few years ago. I had really long hair at the time (and up until very recently still did) so I used this on the ends of my hair every time I got out of the show and it saved the old dried ends of my hair. The few times I forgot to use this the ends of my hair felt like straw but with this my hair was smooth and soft. I have shorter and healthier hair now so I don't I'll repurchase this for a while but if I grow out my hair again this will be the first thing I buy! In its place I have started using the healthysexyhair Soy Tri-Wheat leave in conditioner. It is a really nice lightly scented spray that helps keep my hair smooth and healthy.
I've used a lot of these little PocketBacs but apparently only save three. I loved all of the scents. It was no surprise that I loved Fresh Picked apricots and Fresh Picked pomegranates because they are just typical sweet fruity scents but the Fresh Picked garden herbs blew me away. I didn't know what to expect when I ordered this online but am so glad I gave it a chance. It smelled so fresh and clean. It wasn't herbly at all. If they ever bring that scent back I will absolutely pick it up!
I somehow managed to run out of a lot of bottles of perfume right around the same time. I have here the Bath & Body Works pink grapefruit body splash, Bath & Body works sweet pea perfume, Aqualina Pink Sugar, Paris Hilton by Paris Hilton, Dare Me by Baby Phat, Fancy by Jessica Simpson, and Curious by Britney Spears.
I don't have a whole lot to say about each of these but I did love all of the scents. Pink Sugar is my favorite scent of all time. My best friend gave me that bottle because she didn't want it and I've been trying to convince myself to buy another bottle ever since I finished this one. It's so expensive and haven't come up with a good enough excuse yet. The Paris Hilton and Baby Phat perfumes were also great. Very girly. I bought Curious by Britney Spears because it was the first perfume I ever had (my sophomore year of high school) and I was feeling nostalgic I guess.
I have a few perfume samples I finished and wanted to mention. Not because I think it is some great feat to have finished a tiny little perfume sample but because they smelled so amazing (or terrible as you will see in a minute) that I have to share them.
First up is the Especially Escada Delicate Notes. This is a nice fresh scented perfume. I don't know if I'd spend the money on a full size but I really enjoyed the sample. Second, I finished a small sample of Prada Candy. This is a really nice perfume. It is sweet like the name suggests but it isn't an overwhelming surgary sweet like the Aqualina Pink Sugar I mentioned earlier (and love!). And finally, my new very favorite perfume sample I've EVER tried Escada Cherry in the air perfume. Ahhhh this stuff smells so wonderful. I've never been that attracted to anything cherry scented but this stuff was a game changer for me. If I saw a full size bottle in stores somewhere I'm not sure I could keep myself from buying it.
Here are two perfume samples I hated but finished anyways. Taylor Swift Wonderstruck and Ralph Lauren Romance. These were both stinky old lady perfumes that I kept in my purse without fear of losing them and to be used when I was desperate for a perfume spritz ('cuz lets be honest... old lady is better than stinky lady).
I went through a few travel/sample sized products. Nivea Touch of Happiness body wash, John Frieda Full Repair conditioner, Dove Intensive Repair shampoo, Head & Shoulders classic clean dandruff shampoo, and Clinique Acne Solutions emergency gel.
There was nothing remarkable or special about any of these. I used to love the Nivea body and have had a full size in the past but I got tired of the scent. I almost always have a full size head & shoulders in my shower so I bought the mini size for when I'm away from home. The Clinique gel made an effective spot treatment but considering the full size price I don't anticipate ever using this again unless I get another sample.
Colgate Optic White in Luminous Mint is mine and my husband's favorite tooth paste. It seems to do the job, has a nice flavor, and I think it helps keep my teeth looking good!
I have gone through two bottles of makeup setting spray. First was the NYX Matte Finish spray which I found to be really helpful in keeping my makeup on all day long. The other spray I tried was the e.l.f. Makeup Mist & Set. I like this for times when my skin is feeling dry and needs something to revive it. I also find this really refreshing if I'm hot and sweaty.
I finished a few makeup items I wanted to talk about. I feel like I've gone through a million of the Rimmel Stay Matte pressed power in translucent but there was only one in my bin. I am already using another one and will continue to buy this powder in the future because it is great at setting my foundation. This was my first tube of the Rimmel Match Perfection 2 in 1 concealer & highlighter and I'm already using another. This is great for concealing and brightening my under eye area. I also finished a tube of the Revlon Colorstay concealer and I won't buy this again. It looked great at first and got worse and worse throughout the day. The color would change and become patchy and I could really see each place I had put it on my face. I've loved the e.l.f. Waterproof Eyeliner pens for a long time and this is just the most recent one I've finished. It is only $2.00 and makes applying liquid eyeliner a breeze! I finished a tube of Covergirl Lashblast Volume mascara and L'Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black. These are both really nice mascaras and I totally recommend them. The last is the Fresh Sugar Rose lip treatment. This was the most amazing balm I ever tried. It smelled fresh and lemony,  gave the nicest pink tint to my lips, and was so incredibly moisturizing. I have almost bought another tube several times but the price always stops me. Someday I hope to have another though...
I have a favorite concealer... can you tell? The first four bottles (that actually look empty) are in the combination/oily skin formula and are my favorite. My WalMart was out of my shade for combo/oily so I had to get the Normal/Dry skin formula and I don't know what's wrong with it but I couldn't get the rest of the product out of the bottle. It looks completely full in this picture but I promise I got out everything I could and after storing it for days upside down I couldn't get a single drop out and gave up.
{just wanted to show you that I'm telling the truth. They are different formulas and the one for dry skin won't come out any more}
I only have one last thing to show you and it is kind of silly and not at all related to anything else I have shown you but I have an amazing chocolate bar to share that blew me away...
Lindt White Coconut chocolate bar.
Ahhh. So good. The white chocolate melts in your mouth. The tiny flakes of coconut are miraculously delicious. I just love this. I love it. If you like coconut you must try it. You won't be disappointed.
I hope you enjoyed seeing the products I've used up and reading a little bit about my opinions on them.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Current Beauty Favorites feat. Revlon, NARS, Smashbox, Urban Decay, NYX, Rimmel, and Tarte

I wanted to share my most used products right now. I have been using these products and nothing else (aside from the occasional gloss) for at least a month or two.
Here's what my routine has been lately...
Nivea Lip Butter in Vanilla & Macadamia Kiss
This is my absolute favorite balm right now. It is so soft and creamy and moisturizing. It makes my lips feel amazing and gives them a very pretty shine. It is perfect for this cold dry winter weather!
Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer
This is my second sample of this and I love every drop. I focus it on my t-zone where my foundation has the hardest time staying put.
Revlon Colorstay 24 Hour Foundation for Combo/Oily skin in shade 110 Ivory 
As you can tell from the empty bottle above I love this so much I've used every last drop I can get to! The only store in my small town that sells this has been out of my shade for weeks so I've had to resort to buying something else (Maybeline Fit Me, color is great formula is horrible!!) and I can't wait to get my hands on this again! It is the only foundation that lasts on my oily mess of a face!
Rimmel Match Perfection Concealer in 230 Ivory/Light 
This is my second tube of this concealer and I love it for under my eyes. I wish it was a little longer lasting (since I put my makeup on at 6:00am and don't take it off until 10:00pm) but it does the job and it is the best I've tried in a long time. Plus, it's affordable!
Rimmel Stay Matte pressed powder in Translucent 
I don't know how many of these compacts I've gone through over the years. I'm really quite pale so this translucent powder is pretty much the only thing that doesn't leave me with a crazy obvious color difference from my jaw to my neck. Plus, I really need the oil absorbing help!
Tarte Amazonian Clay blush in Thankful 
This is one of the most pigmented blushes I've ever owned. I love that I only need a tiny amount on my brush to get the color I want on my cheeks. This is going to last forever!
Jane Aguaceuticals Aquaglow bronzer in Sunset Bronze  
I don't actually use this as bronzer I just use the top two shades and highlight my cheekbones. I love the subtle highlight it provides. I bought this in 2011 from Hautelook and I'm not sure if they still make it but if they do I totally recommend picking it up. I've also used all the colors as eyeshadow when I didn't have anything else with me!
e.l.f. Eyebrow set in Light 
This is my go to brow product. When I really feel like going to town on my makeup I will use both the powder and the cream/wax but most days all I need is the cream/wax side. I was so worried when it first came in the mail because it was so much darker than the powder but it is only lightly pigmented. Just enough to fill my brows without looking crazy and the waxy texture helps keep the hairs in place! Plus, it was such a steal. Normally $3.00, I got it on sale for $1.50! And it's going to last forever!
NARS eye shadow primer 
This is a sample I got in a free set from Sephora but I've been using it for months and I absolutely love it! This primer is amazing! It keeps my shadows from creasing all day! And I only have to use the tiniest amount. I'm going to be so sad when this runs out because it is far to expensive to repurchase. But if you have the money, I would say get it!
Wet n Wild Color Icon eye shadow palette in Vain
I have had this palette for several years and lately it has been the only eye shadow I've used. As you can tell I love the two lightest shades, especially the matte one. My second favorite shade is the matte tan color. My go-to eye look has been the matter ivory on the lid and inner corner with the matte tan in the crease. Really simple and classis but pretty!
L'Oreal Carbon Black Lineur Intense liquid eyeliner & Tarte emphasEYES smoldering clay liner
I have been wearing two eyeliners everyday. I wear the L'Oreal liquid liner on my eyelid and the Tarte liner along my lower lash line. They are both very long lasting and the Tarte liner can be smudged along the lower lash line right after applying and then it sets and stays all day! I have such a problem with mascara and liner on my bottom lashes smudging and smearing throughout the day so now this is the only liner I wear down there.
Covergirl Lashblast Volume Waterproof mascara & Smashbox Full Exposure mascara
I've never been a huge fan of waterproof mascara and I haven't ever really felt like it was necessary but over the last 7 or 8 months I've had a huge problem of the mascara on my bottom lashes smudging into my under eye area throughout the day. So I decided to try a waterproof formula. I only use it on my bottom lashes because it was WAY too hard to get off my top lashes but it is perfect for the lower lash line. My most used mascara right now for my top lashes is this one for smashbox that I got in a smashbox sample set. I really really like the formula and the large brush. I tend to layer it with a different mascara every couple days but always with this as the base.
Urban Decay de-slick makeup setting spray & NYX Matte finish setting spray
The last thing I do when putting on my makeup is set my makeup with one of these sprays. This is my second bottle of the NYX setting spray and I've used about half of it. I think it is a really nice spray for oily skin and it is affordable. The Urban Decay was a new purchase about a month ago and it is only a sample size but I'm already OBSESSED. It is amazing. It really works wonders on controlling my oily face. BUT it is so pricey that I don't see myself ever buying a full size.
Hope you enjoyed seeing what makeup I've been using most lately!