Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Magnetic Wave Design... By Deborah Lippmann

I was recently approached by a lovely friend of mine whom i shall call Ms. Ice Cream about this new 'magnetic wave design' nail polish.  She really wanted to try it but was afraid she'd mess it up so she suggested i try it and blog about it.  I wasn't sure i knew what this was but my curiosity got the best of me.  I didn't realize it at the time but during my last trip to Sephora, i noticed a nail polish by "Nails Inc." a brand i absolutely adore by the way, and they actually have a magnetic wave nail polish line as well.  I remember picking up the wand and feeling a bit overwhelmed by it so i quickly put it down and walked away.  My friend was particularly curious about the Deborah Lippmann set that actually comes in two color schemes.  I opted for the purple hues which consist of a light shade called Berry Metal and a richer pinkish purple called Love is a Battlefield (which makes me want to break out into song lol).   I purchased this set from HSN for $25 (it's actually $30 but i searched for an online coupon code and got $5 off SCORE!)  I promptly played around with the wand and mixed up the layers to determine which i liked best.  So here it is! 

 

Step one:  Apply a clear base coat.  You can use any that you already have.
Step Two:  Apply one coat of Love is a Battlefield.  Let it dry completely.
 
Step Three:  Apply a coat of Berry Metal one nail at a time.  As soon as you apply it to one nail, quickly apply the magnet wand over the nail.  There is a little arch on the wand that you can place on the cuticle of the nail, being careful not to touch the nail with the wand.  Hold for 10 seconds and voila!

 

Overall, it's not very hard to do though it is a bit time consuming.  I like it, it's very different from anything i've ever tried and if nothing more, it's pretty darn cool.  I'm not exactly used to wearing these kinds of effects on my nails so it's taking a little getting used to.   The next time i go to Sephora, i will check if Nail Inc has a greater variety of colors.  If i find anything that fancies me, i will pick it up and post a picture! 

*** Just an added note to thank everyone that has checked out my posts.  I'm having so much fun doing this blog as it's a wonderful outlet to talk about all the stuff i LOVE to discuss... fashion, beauty and of course the loves of my life!  For all those who have me saved under 'favorites', i'd love it if you joined the blog and ofcourse spread the word!  Again, thank you for taking the time to read and know that i really appreciate it!  Hugs***

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Different Kind of Vitamin C

I've been on a quest to find the perfect orange nail shade.  I'm on such an orange lipstick/nail polish kick!  We already know I found the perfect lip shade but now i think i've 'nailed it' with the perfect orange shade.  Best part is, i didn't even break the bank (i know, that's a first!) at a mere $5!  It's Loreal Paris Boozy Brunch 102.  You can easily pick it up at your local Target like i did!  What do you think???




Olivia saw my nails and asked me to paint hers... she opted for pink with sparkles!  Yep, that's my girl!



Friday, February 17, 2012

A Hairy Situation...



My hair stylist and genius Rosi at Xchanges Hair Artistry assures me that hair can be rebuilt.  She says that if you use the right products and nourish it properly, it will reverse the signs of damage.  This is quite a challenge for my fried, over-processed hair but she assures me that my hair is in much better condition then i give it credit for.  Certainly, after the Thermafuse treatment, Wen haircare products along with a few others, i am actually starting to believe her.  On a recent trip to Sephora, i came across a brand i'd never heard of before called 'Carol's Daughter'.  The products looked very intriguing to me.  Their packaging and scents have a very organic feel to them as if someone actually created it with their very own home grown ingredients.  As i sampled a few of their products in the store, i remembered Rosi specifying that the key word to look for in a product that will rebuild your hair is "repair".  She assured me that these kinds of products are in fact sulfate free which is a must for maintaining the thermafuse treatment.  I decided to pick up the Marguerite's Magic™ Restorative Cream Hairdress $17 for an 8oz container which claimed to do just that!

So the first time i used it i made a huge mistake!  I took a large glob of the product, rubbed my hands together and proceeded to apply it on my towel dried hair.  When i began to blow dry my hair i knew immediately i had used way too much!  I had to rewash my hair which was really annoying considering i don't have that kind of time on my hands!  However, i had no choice because i was NOT going for the grease monkey look!  This time, i blow dried my hair first, then i took a very small amount, rubbed my hands together and placed the product strictly on my ends.  Wow, a little really does go a long way!  I was so impressed with this product mainly because i'm so used to using a ton of product on my hair and with this, i only needed a tad.  My hair felt incredibly soft and looked very  healthy after applying this.  So the good news is, this is a GREAT product and you only need to use a tiny amount to have wonderful results.  The size of this container will last you a lifetime so it's totally worth the $17.  Oh and here's a major bonus...when you finish applying it on your hair, you'll notice that it makes your hands super soft!  SCORE!  I look forward to trying their other products!

Ok so this is just about how much you need.  Rub your hands together and run them through the ends of your hair. 
 
**Note**  I highly recommend this product for anyone with thick, course hair.  This product, in my opinion, is not ideal for anyone with fine oily hair.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Got polish?

OK so i have a lot of nail polish!  Actually the ones pictured below are not the only ones i own.  But here's how i look at it... nail polish always fits, can easily be changed when you get bored, and can be so so fun playing around with colors and textures! 



Today i used 'My Personal Serpent" by OPI for Sephora ( i do believe this particular color has been discontinued but the same look can be easily replicated with any similar shade).  This particular shade is a very dark grayish blue and looks almost black when applied on the nail.  I followed it applying a coat of "Only Gold for Me" also by OPI for Sephora.  I kind of like the pairing of the two.  Hope you do too!





Friday, February 10, 2012

Jason Wu-whoo!!!

Here is my little fashion maven Mimi again, sporting a fabulous tote by Jason Wu for Target $39.99.  Isn't she so fab?



Thermafuse fahrenheit 450° Straightening treatment

In the past couple of years or so, lots of new products have surfaced on the market that claim to make your hair more manageable. Some are straighteners, others add shine and remove most of the frizz, etc. Having struggled with my thick, wavy hair all my life, i was certainly intrigued. Initially, the Brazilian blow out seemed like a hair miracle, until i learned about the high levels of formaldehyde in this product. That was definitely a deal breaker for me. So i began looking into the Keratin treatment options as well as a few others. I read as many reviews as i could and asked everyone i knew who'd done similar treatments for their input. The secretary at my school, whose hair always looks fabulous alerted me of the 'Thermafuse Fahrenheit 450°' treatment, as this is what she uses. She told me her hair was "kinky curly" (her words) and if you look at her you would never know it. She has a bob style hair cut and her hair is always super sleek and shiny. I was baffled! I then read some reviews and watched some YouTube tutorials and my decision was made. She gave me the contact information for her hairdresser who specialized in this treatment. I was beyond excited to try this as I'd dreamt of the day where it would take me less then a half hour to blow dry my hair! Hey, I'm sure my mommy friends would agree, anything that saves you time is a gem in my book!

So the big day came, and my wonderful assistant and friend suggested i take a before/after picture. So as i was leaving work, she quickly picked up her phone and snapped a picture of what the back of my hair looked like. Yikes, i was horrified! But yes, that's what it looked like though not for long! Basically, Patty (the hairdresser) began by washing my hair thoroughly with a special shampoo that was suppose to strip all hair products from my hair. She could not use a conditioner so i can assure you that it was not fun when she had to comb my hair through after washing. She then blow dried it completely and applied the product on each strand of my hair. That took quite a bit of time. The next step was to seal the product by using a flat iron on every strand of the hair... literally EVERY strand! She sectioned it off in tiny portions of hair and flat ironed it. When the hair was completely straight, she then gulp, washed it again! She did this to remove the product that was initially sealed in. She then blow dried it and voila... FOUR hours later, i was done! Phew! Yes it took four very long hours, and anyone that knows me knows that i HATE sitting in the hair salon! But it was so worth it!

So here are the pros and cons:

Pros: The first time i washed my hair after the treatment, it took me literally THREE minutes to blow dry the entire hair. I could not believe it! Never in my life had that been possible! That was a major plus for me! My hair felt so much softer. And the best part was my hair no longer swelled the second i stepped outside! By swelling i mean, there was no frizz, no puffiness, nothing... just straight, soft, manageable hair. It's suppose to last 4-6 months.

Cons: It's expensive... upwards of $200 ($260) to be precise. Also, my hair had a lot of damage prior to this treatment and as a result of all the heat from the flat iron, my ends were an awful mess. I needed a haircut almost immediately. Also, for the first couple of weeks, my hair was a little limp and flat but that does go away quickly. Lastly, it does lighten the hair a bit so if you're planning to have your color done, save it for after the treatment.

It's been three and a half months and my hair is still very manageable and straight for the most part. When i wake up, it's wavy... but the second i blow dry it, it's straight again without much effort. I have to say, this was the BEST thing i could have ever done for myself. I feel it was worth every penny, essentially because it's saved me a tremendous amount of time and time is very precious to me.

***It's important to note that you MUST use 'sulfate free' products in order to prolong the effects of this treatment!***




Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Bacon, egg and cheese 'cupcakes'

OK so they're not cupcakes, but the name just sounds so much more enticing to children don't you agree?  I knew immediately that Olivia wouldn't try them because she's a very picky eater!  However, Mia is usually willing to try new things so i knew she may potentially enjoy these little treats... and enjoy she did! In fact, she asked for more!  I made these mainly to save myself some time in the morning rather than having to make myself an omelet.  I try and alternate my breakfasts between these and a protein/fruit smoothie which I'll share the recipe for at a later date.  I figured I'd share the recipe as i find that these 'cupcakes' are delicious, simple and a nutritious breakfast... perfect for this mommy on the go! 

Ingredients:

3 whole eggs
One small container of egg whites
4 crispy turkey bacon strips
1/2 cup of feta cheese (you can substitute with your favorite, i like feta and it's lower in calories then other cheeses).
Salt and pepper to taste

 
Beat the eggs in a mixing bowl, chop up the bacon and add it to the mix along with the feta cheese.  Add salt and pepper to your liking.  (You can really get creative with this recipe and add vegetables, herbs, etc).  Bake for about 20 minutes at 375 degrees.  Let cool, and enjoy!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I spy with my little eye..... KATE SPADE!

The great thing about stores like Marshall's and TJ Maxx is that  you can often find wonderful little treasures for a fraction of the price of what they retail for.  The bad thing about those stores is that you can't necessarily go looking for very specific items because you most likely will NOT find them... Murphy's Law!  So the other day, i walked into Marshall's, not really looking for anything specific but just needed a few minutes to myself.   Since the girls were napping, I felt it was a good opportunity to go out for a breather so Pete stayed with the girls and off i went!  As i walked around, something caught my eye at a distance.  I knew exactly what it was and who it was by though it was almost too far to tell for the average eye lol.  Sitting on a shelf, was the prettiest little Kate Spade make up bag in the loveliest shades of green and white.  I began to walk a bit  faster fearing that someone else would spot my new make-up bag!  I quickly snatched it!  The original tag read $60.  The Marshall's tag read $24.99!  SOLD!  Isn't she pretty???


Monday, February 6, 2012

Orange Shmorange

While on a recent shopping trip to Sephora (AKA beauty supply heaven), i was on a quest to find the perfect shade of orange lipstick.  As i walked up and down the isles, admiring all their fun products, i stumbled upon the most beautiful shade of orange.  It's number 40 by 'Make Up Forever' $19.  It's a tad flashy yet darling at the same time.  Personally, i love it and find that it adds a little bit of warmth and sunshine to the cold winter months.  Heck it makes me happy so why not!  Next, I'm on a quest for a great orange nail shade!  I'll let you know when i find it!


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Think Outside the Rack!

Here's a fun little way to use a common household item for a completely different purpose! A couple of years ago, i found this gorgeous distressed wine rack on clearance at Home Goods for $25! I mean, i couldn't leave it behind, could you?? Thing is, i really didn't need a wine rack as we already owned one. But i knew that i would not only find the perfect place for it, but i was sure to make it useful. So i decided to place it in my guest bathroom! Yes, you read correctly! I searched my linen closet for bath towels in coordinating colors and decided to roll them up and place them inside where the 'wine bottles' were meant to be and voila! Previously, i had a super cool white retro wine rack from Crate and Barrel in my other guest bathroom. It was a much smaller rack simply shaped like a square with some holes in it for wine (or in my case towels!) You can use just about any kind of wine rack, it doesn't have to be a fancy piece of furniture! Here's a pic! Oh and i was playing photographer with my camera and decided why not post a few other home accents. Enjoy :)


 
I thought this picture came out cool... it's the same bathroom that currently holds the wine/towel rack.  Please note, the gorgeous picture of my girls is taken by the most amazing children's photographer.  You can check out her work at www.deannaryanphotography.com

In keeping with the season....



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