Thursday, August 18, 2016

| WORTH IT WEDNESDAY | L.A. Colors Gel Nail Polish




Hey guys! For the past few weeks I've been collecting drugstore gel nail polishes to start a weekly series type of thing. Every Wednesday for the next five weeks I'm going to be reviewing a different drugstore brand of no UV light required at home gel nail polish. 
I think it's so great that brands are coming out with at home gel nail polishes that don't require a UV light. You can save tons of money on gel manicures and you don't have to expose yourself to those harmful UV lights! 
I picked up five different gel nail polishes to try out. I'm going to paint my nails every Sunday with a different polish and keep each polish on for a week then, every Wednesday I'm going to let you know if it's worth it or not!



For this week I tried out the L.A. Colors Gel Nail Polish in the color Aura which is a super fun bright pink. L.A. Colors is a brand that you can get at most dollar stores as well as stores like Walmart. This gel nail polish cost me $2.00, being the cheapest of all the gel nail polishes I've tried. This is a one step gel nail polish.


So does this actually work?

Now, my expectations weren't exactly that high with this nail polish, because of the low price but I decided to buy it anyways because I love the regular L.A. Colors nail polishes. 
The application was great, the perfect amount of color was on the brush each time, and it was the perfect consistency. However, the brush it comes with is kind of thick, which can be good or bad. It was a little tough for me to work with because my fingers are pretty thin, so my nails are thin too, but if you don't have itty bitty fingers like me, it might actually be the perfect size for a one brush stoke application. I applied two coats.
The shine was alright. It wasn't crazy shiny but it did look like I applied a top coat to it. My favorite thing about this nail polish was how quickly it dried. It dried so fast, so it's perfect for impatient people like myself.
Unfortunately, this polish didn't perform well. It was already chipping a few days after I applied it and by day 7 some nails were missing huge chunks of polish. It chipped easily, but it didn't crack.
Removal was easy enough, it came off like regular polish.



So...is this product worth it?

It depends. For me, it is but only because the application was super easy and the dry time was extremely fast and if there's one thing I can't stand it's honestly waiting for nail polish to dry. It's really not a bad product for the price.
If you're looking for a gel nail polish that performs as well as a gel manicure that you would get at the salon, then I wouldn't recommend the L.A. Colors Gel nail polish to you.

Thanks for reading! Let me know in the comments if you've tried out this L.A. Colors Gel nail polish and what you think about it!

Next weeks Worth It Wednesday post will be the last of the "Drugstore Gel Nail Polish Collection" posts. I will be reviewing one final gel nail polish. I will also be posting a separate post next Wednesday telling you which one I recommend the most and why! Stay tuned!

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XoA!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

| TEACHING TUESDAY | BACK TO SCHOOL | 10 Bits Of Advice For A Better High School Experience!





Is it really that time of year again? It feels like summer just started, but it appears it's ending. Well, for some it already ended, isn't it strange how the school year begins at different times across the country? I'm from New York and schools in my area don't start until the beginning of September. When does your school year begin?
Now I'm not in high school anymore, I graduated four years ago, which is crazy but I figured I'd share with you ten things I learned in high school and some I learned after.

1. Be nice to your teachers. 
Your teachers are there to help you, it's their job. Don't give them a hard time, their job is tough enough and trust me when I say this, you'll miss even the teacher you hated the most once you graduate. 

2. Be prepared when you show up at school.
All you really need is something to write with and something to write on, (I mean, obviously you probably need more), but as long as you have a pen and a notebook you'll be ready to take notes.

3. Participate in extra-curricular activities.
Now, I personally never did this. At the time I had no interest in any clubs or sports but looking back, I wish I did. Some schools offer so many fun clubs and activities where you can meet new friends and develop a life long hobby. If you're a huge sports person, try out for a team! Keep in mind, that colleges like to see extra-curricular participation also!

4. Make friends.
Unfortunately for me, I'm rarely in contact with anyone I was friends with in high school. Mainly because I'm not friends with these people anymore, but that's another story for another day. However, don't let that discourage you from making friends in high school. I know plenty of people who met their best friends while in high school and their relationships are awesome. Talk to the people who sit next to you in class or people in the same clubs as you, chances are they want to make new friends too.

5. Don't worry about mean people.
It's easy to feel like high school is your whole life while in high school, but it's not at all. All the people who pick on you, bully you, or are just straight up mean to you won't matter much once you graduate. You'll either never see them again or you'll be so busy with your awesome life, you won't be paying them much attention. Trust me on this one.

6. Don't be the mean person.
No one likes mean people, it's a fact. Don't pick on other people for any reason, you don't know what they're going through. Plus, you don't want to be remembered as the mean one.

7. Ladies, come prepared!
By prepared I mean, bring extra tampons or pads. You never know when your period might strike, and you don't want to be stuck using the thick pads from the nurses office. It's also great to have in case any other girls need one.

8. If you're having any problems, ask for help.
There are so many people at school who can help you with various things. If you don't like your schedule, see if you can change it. If someone is bullying you talk to a teacher or counselor. Don't be afraid to speak up!

9. Don't worry if you don't know what you want to do once you graduate.
The thing I hated the most about high school is how hard they push the whole "you're 15,16, 17, 18, now decide what you want to do with the rest of your life" thing. I changed my mind about my future a million times in high school, I still have no clue what I want to do exactly and that's okay. Part of high school is finding yourself as a whole, they can't expect you to figure out what you want to do for the rest of your life as well.
Another thing to keep in mind is, college isn't the only way to go. High school counselors are always pushing that as well, but college isn't for everyone. Look at trade schools that offer certificates in careers that only take two years, another thing to look into is trade unions. They usually don't require more than a high school education and they even put you through their own schooling to help learn the trade better, plus many offer crazy high pay. You know what's best for you, so don't worry too much about not taking the conventional route if you choose not to.

10. Enjoy it while you can.
They always say high school goes really fast and they're right. Those four years fly by, so don't worry about the drama and the rumors. Enjoy spending time with your friends and enjoy having limited responsibilities while you can, because once you graduate you'll miss it.


I hope you enjoyed some of the advice I've given you. It's a lot of stuff most people won't tell you, but it's all worth knowing. Let me know if you have any back to school tips in the comments! 

Thanks for reading!
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XoA!

Monday, August 15, 2016

| MAKEUP MONDAY | Should I Toss That? | How Long To Keep Beauty Products!






Just like the food in your kitchen, makeup products can go bad too. If you do use old beauty products, chances are nothing will happen. However, there is still the possibility of skin irritations and even infections caused by using expired or old makeup. 
Unfortunately, there are no laws that require cosmetic companies to put expiration dates on their products unless there are FDA regulated ingredients used in such products, (think sunscreens and acne creams using active ingredients). This makes it a little hard to figure out just how long your makeup lasts once opened. I made a chart that shows how long some commonly used beauty products last once opened, feel free to screenshot it or save it to your computer for reference!



When Should I Toss it?

Mascara & Liquid Eyeliner: Throw it out after 3-4 months. Throw it out sooner if it smells weird, if the product is dry, or if the tube is looking crusty. Don't use any eye products if you have any kind of eye infection, and if you do, toss it immediately.
Why toss it? Every time you take the wand out and put it back into the tube, you're letting bacteria in and because the product is liquid based and moist, (ew, hate that word), it's the perfect place for bacteria to breed.
Tip: Don't pump your mascara, it causes more bacteria to get into the product.

Eyeliner Pencils & Lip Liners: Throw it out after 2 years. Once again, don't use any eye products if you have any kind of eye infection, and if you do, toss it immediately.
Pencil Liners last longer because every time you sharpen it, you're removing the old surface. Just make sure you're using a clean sharpener!

Lipstick & Lip Gloss: Throw it out after 2 years. Toss it sooner if it's looking separated, smells funny, or if it's dry. 

Concealer & Liquid Foundations: Throw it out after 6 months to one year. Throw it out sooner if it's starting to separate. Make sure to always apply concealer with clean hands, brushes, or sponges to avoid oils and germs from getting onto your skin.

Powders (Blushes, Bronzers, Pressed Powders, etc..): These products are usually good for 1-2 years. 

Cream Contours/ Highlights: These products are usually good for 1-2 years.

Eyeshadows: 1-2 years, as long as the brushes you're using to apply are kept clean.

Nail Polish: Toss it after 1-2 years or if it's starting to look separated. Using old nail polish will make it harder to paint your nails, it doesn't dry right!

*Brushes should be cleaned every 1-2 months depending on how often they're used.*

Tips:

- Don't store your makeup products in the bathroom, keep them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and moisture.

- Always wash your hands before applying makeup.

- Make sure all lids and caps are closed fully and tightly.

- If you have any questions or concerns regarding makeup products and your skin, see your dermatologist. 



Thanks For Reading!
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XoA!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

| WORTH IT WEDNESDAY | Wet n Wild One Step Wonder Gel Nail Polish





Hey guys! For the past few weeks I've been collecting drugstore gel nail polishes to start a weekly series type of thing. Every Wednesday for the next five weeks I'm going to be reviewing a different drugstore brand of no UV light required at home gel nail polish. 
I think it's so great that brands are coming out with at home gel nail polishes that don't require a UV light. You can save tons of money on gel manicures and you don't have to expose yourself to those harmful UV lights! 
I picked up five different gel nail polishes to try out. I'm going to paint my nails every Sunday with a different polish and keep each polish on for a week then, every Wednesday I'm going to let you know if it's worth it or not!




For this week I tried out the Wet n Wild One Step Wonder Gel nail polish. This nail polish costs about $4.99 and can be found at most drugstores. Like the name says, it's a one step only gel nail polish, so no top coat is needed. I bought two of these, this awesome green color and peach color as well. I decided to try out the green one called, Wasa-Be With You? Like Wasabi sauce, get it? Ha-ha. :)

So does this actually work?

The application was alright. It's a little runny and super thin so if you move your fingers it may run a little. This was such a pain for me because I couldn't get the right amount on my nails at first, but I figured it out and the end result was pretty much flawless. The color is so pretty and fun but it isn't nearly as shiny as an actual gel manicure would be.
(Please ignore my cuticles, I was too lazy to do anything with them). 
This polish held up pretty well. Even after seven days there were only a few small chips. It did however, crack. There were small lines all over the polish after a few days, which isn't pretty. Removal was super easy, it just took a few wipes with a regular nail polish remover.



So...is this product worth it?

Eh. It is and it isn't. The Wet n Wild One Step Wonder Gel nail polish looks more like a regular nail polish once applied, no shine at all. I'm not sure if it should even be called a gel polish. Though, it did last a full week with barely any chips, but it did crack.
For me, it probably isn't worth it. Wet n Wild sells regular nail polishes for $0.99 each and they look exactly like these gel polishes, I'll probably just stick to those. If I'm looking for a gel nail polish, I'd rather pay a little more to actually get a high-quality one.
This Wet n Wild One Step Wonder Gel nail polish would be perfect for someone who's looking for a long lasting polish. Try putting a shiny top coat over it to make it shinier! 


Thanks for reading! Let me know in the comments if you've tried out this Wet n Wild One Step Wonder Gel nail polish and tell me your thoughts on it! 


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X0A

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

| TEACHING TUESDAY | How To Organize Your Makeup On A Budget! | Affordable Makeup Organization!




Life is so much easier if everything is organized, including makeup. Whether you own only a handful of products or you're a makeup collector and own 35 black eyeliner pencils, it's always easier to find what you're looking for if you have a good organization system. It doesn't have to be hard or expensive to organize your makeup though, there are so many cute and fun ways to organize on a budget! I'm going to share with you a few ways I store my makeup fun and affordably, enjoy!

Dressers & Vanities:

I don't have a crazy amount of makeup at the moment and I can easily store it all on top of my dresser and in the top drawer of my dresser. If you are a huge makeup collector you might want to buy or use a separate unit for just your makeup storage. There are so many affordable options out there. 
The ALEX Drawer systems from Ikea are very popular among many YouTubers. There are a few different size options available to meet your needs and you can mix and match furniture pieces to your liking. People love these pieces because the drawers are the perfect size for storing makeup. They're also very sleek and good-looking. Each piece ranges from about $80 to a little over $200.
If the Alex Drawer systems are too expensive for you, you can always check out Walmart or Target for cheap dresser or vanity options. The quality may not be great, but you might end up getting a better deal.
Don't forget to check out thrift shops and garage sales in your area as well! You can probably find beautiful and maybe even vintage furniture for a very affordable price!



Storage Containers & Boxes:

My favorite place to get storage containers is Dollar Tree. They offer so many different colors, sizes, and designs for only $1 each. Keep in mind though, these containers are cheap so they may break over time, but so far I've had good luck with them. They're perfect if you need a way to store makeup inside drawers. I got the pink ones and the white ones from Dollar Tree and they're perfect for organizing different types of products. I store my liquid foundations in one, my pressed powders in another, blushes in another and my eyeshadow quads in one. 
I also got these cute pink mini drawer containers from Dollar Tree. I actually use them to store some of my jewelry, but they're perfect for storing makeup too!



I got my acrylic makeup organizer from Tuesday Morning for about $12, but you can also find these at Target for around the same price. I've heard people spend between $25-$100 on these things for a specific brand, not sure what it is, but that's insane. These organizers are great though, I love mine! I store my concealers in one drawer, mascaras and eyeliners in the middle, and my eyebrow products in the last drawer. The drawers are the perfect size and you can store a lot of products in it. I'm definitely going to go back to Tuesday Morning to purchase another one of these!



My makeup brush holder is also from Dollar Tree. It was actually a gift box, that I thought looked cute and it's perfect for storing makeup brushes. Remember to be creative! 

D.I.Y. Storage:

One of my favorite things to use to organize and store things is boxes. You can use jewelry boxes, makeup boxes, shoe boxes, anything really! I got many of the boxes I use from BareMinerals makeup sets and not only are they the perfect size to store products, they're also super stylish and pretty. 
Pretty jewelry boxes could also help organize and separate different products and you can even use plain cardboard boxes. Just cut them to the size you need and decorate it however you choose!
When it comes to storing your makeup brushes, you can use anything! Cheap bowls, cups, or boxes that you can decorate or design yourself are some awesome ideas, and you can personalize them to match all of your other decor in your room. You can also use mason jars, vases, or even flower pots to store products! 
Your decorating and designing options are endless. You can paint, color, use ribbons and tape, stickers, the list goes on!


How do you store your makeup? Let me know in the comments, I'd love to hear some great organization ideas!



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X0A

Monday, August 1, 2016

| MAKEUP MONDAY | Most Underrated Drugstore Foundation Ever! | Rimmel London Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation Review

Lately, I've been obsessed with matte foundations. They're my favorite in the summer to keep my face oil free. With matte foundations I feel like I never have to reapply during the day. Recently, I purchased the Rimmel London Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation at Target mainly because it was cheap. I paid $4.99 for 1 oz, score! I never tried this foundation before and honestly, heard nothing about it either. Being a foundation junkie though, I had to try it out. 



This foundation is a liquid mousse foundation, which is something I've never used before. It also comes in a squeeze tube, which is also something I was unfamiliar with. When I squeezed some product out onto the back of my hand, I was a little scared, it was so thick! Using my fingers to apply, I started blending it out onto my face and thankfully the product started to thin out, but it still gave full coverage. 
Although the foundation appears super thick when first squeezed out of the tube, it thins out and blends very easily onto the skin. It didn't feel super thick or cakey on my face either. It felt honestly, quite perfect. This foundation is a full coverage foundation and doesn't really need any building up.
This foundation is also 100% matte. Sometimes you get a "matte" foundation that isn't really matte at all, but this one delivers. It also matched my skin tone perfectly and didn't oxidize at all. I was able to apply a setting powder on top as well, without my skin looking cakey, which happens sometimes with matte foundations.
One of the most important things a foundation needs to do for me is last all day. My skin gets a little oily in the summer and if I don't have to blot my face and reapply my foundation halfway through the day, I'm happy. This foundation lasted all day for me, no reapplying needed!

After using it for a few weeks now, The Rimmel London Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation is probably one of my favorite foundations ever! It's the perfect matte foundation and the price is incredible. I think this foundation is so underrated. I never hear anyone talking about it, and that's a real shame, because it's so amazing. 

Thanks for reading this review on the Rimmel London Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation! Below you will find my official review system, and the final score for this product. 
Have you tried this foundation? Let me know what you think of it in the comments! Also, let me know what beauty products you think are underrated!

Only the foundation is applied in this picture.


Review:

Points based system, each is worth 10 points for a total of 100 points.


Coverage (Did it cover blemishes with one application?) :  10/10
Color (Was it true to color? Did it match skin tone?) : 10/10
- Price (Was it too expensive? Was is cheap & good quality?) : 10/10 
Durability (Does it last long? Will it hold up to sweaty situations, ex. exercise?) : 10/10
Ease of Use (Is it easy to use, are the steps simple, can basically anyone do it?) : 10/10
Duration of Application: (Does it take a long time to apply?) : 10/10
Skin Sensitivity (Is it good for sensitive skin? Or does it cause breakouts, rashes, or does it burn?) : 10/10 [author's note: I have sensitive skin and this works for me, I had no breakouts, no rashes, etc. But what might work for me might not work for you, everyone has different skin]
Pigmentation (Is the color bright? Does it show up well?) :10/10
Smell (Does it smell bad? Good?) : 10/10 [author's note: it had no smell]
Overall Satisfaction with This Product (Recommend to a friend?) : 10/10 
Total Score: 100/100. 100%!! 


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X0A