Another Variation on a Gradient

Thursday, May 31, 2012

I love using striping tape and doing a color transition at the same time.

Here, I started out with a base of American Apparel California Trooper, applied the striping tape when it was dry and then sponged American Apparel Mac Arthur Park and OCC Tattoo according to this method here, that I previously did a tutorial on.

Ick, I did not really clean  up all too well on this manicure, my cuticles look rather wretched.

Have a great night, thanks for checking this manicure out!

Products featured were purchased by me, for my own use. For additional information, please refer to my Disclosure Policy. 

EOTD & ES Lash Review

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Good evening!

I recently tried out another type of lashes from KKCenterHK. They're ES 10, a soft, fluttery style that looks quite natural.

I liked that these handmade lashes had a very thin band that bent with ease. The band was a tad too long for my eyes, so I trimmed them a tiny bit (cutting off one segment on either side of the band). These lashes are also tapered, with the lashes on the inner corner being shorter than the long outer corner lashes.

The quality is fantastic, I much prefer these lashes with the ultra thin bands than to most lashes you can buy at the drugstore here in the US. Priced at $17.03 for a box of 10 pair, it's also a great value. The cheapest I've ever purchased lashes here in the US was at $2.50 per pair of lashes. I also prefer these lashes to ones that I've previously purchased on eBay. These actually look like the pictures in the description and are easy to work with. The only downside is that because they are so delicate, they're not really reusable- they can't really withstand washing. But hey, at $1.70 per pair, they're definitely cheap enough to use as disposable lashes.

KKCenterHK also made a code just for my readers- pretty nice of them! From now until 2013, use "makeupwithdrawal" for 10% off your order. (I am in no way compensated if you use this code to purchase anything- I just figured that it'd be nice to pass along to you).

For this EOTD I used:
Brows: NYX Brow Shaper, NARS Bali shadow
Eyes: LORAC Behind The Scenes Eye Primer, Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy, Fyrinnae Equality, Fyrinnae Steampunk, Fyrinnae Snow Leopard, LORAC Beige, Physician's Formula gel liner (black, from the green trio)

Have a great night!

Product featured was sent to me for review. For additional information, please refer to my Disclosure Policy. 

Jessica Iridescent Eye

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Behold! The fruits of my uh... venture into a shady little nail supply store. I have never seen Jessica polishes in person before, so I was really excited to this very full display a few weeks ago. In the very bottom row, I spotted Jessica Iridescent Eye, Chanel Peridot's doppelgänger. I wasn't willing to shell out a ton of money for a Chanel polish, but I very happily forked over three dollars for Iridescent Eye.

The first time I wore it, I wasn't happy with how streaky it looked. I mean, it wasn't as bad as a frost but the gleaming polish made me feel like I had done a horrible application. The second time I wore it (these photographs) I used Nfu Oh Aqua Base and was much more pleased with the results. I'm fascinated by how utterly duochrome-y and vividly bright it is.

Crackle... I'm so over it. I literally have not used crackle polish since the trend first exploded. However, it looks mighty nifty over Jessica Iridescent Eye. Here, I'm using Barry M Instant Nail Effects.

What do you think of this color? Do you own Chanel Peridot, Jessica Iridescent Eye or any of this color's reincarnations?

Products featured were purchased by me, for my own use. For additional information, please refer to my Disclosure Policy.

Haul + Vacation Pics

Monday, May 28, 2012
obligatory picture of a palm tree
Hey folks!

I'm finally back from California. First off, I'd like to thank all of you who wished me a happy birthday, via Twitter or comment! Thank you so much, it meant a lot to me.
I had a great trip, and of course I brought back a few things! I haven't really HAULED HAULED in a long time, so enjoy the picture spam! These pictures also include some polishes that I bought right before I left.

I was at American Apparel (not my style but they make some damn good polishes) and a lot of their polishes were marked down 50%, down to $3 and discontinued. If you live near one, RUN and get some! Left to right: Neon Orange, Factory Grey, California Trooper, Palm Springs, Rouge, Trenchcoat, Mac Arthur Park.

I was really excited to see a Rite Aid  (kinda lame, I know), because I haven't lived near one since I lived in the Philadelphia area. I of course, needed to pick up some polishes that I haven't seen in my area. The Essence polishes were from an Ulta in Sacramento, I had never seen a full Essence display! Left to right: Sinful Colors UFO, Sinful Colors Pearl Harbor, LA Girl Fruity in Sparkling Peach, CQ Rustic Dream, Chameleon Waltz, Essence Nail Art Magnetics in Miracle Shine! (+ star magnet), Essence Time for Romance, Essence Nude It!, Essence Passion for Fashion and Essence Nail Colour 3 duo in Midnight Date.

Some things I picked up in Japantown in San Francisco- just odds'n'ends. Left to Right: makeup sponges, mask, nail art storage case from Ichiban Kan and two pore masks from Daiso.

Last but not least, MAC Hey Sailor! Highlight Powder in Crew. There's a few more items that aren't pictured, but I'll post about them later (my first Ozotic and HITS polishes!).

Whew. No more buying things. EVER.

Onto some vacation pictures! Some of these I already posted to Instagram (@MakeupWithdrawal). I love my new phone (HTC One S), I think that it takes some pretty nice pictures.

View from the plane.

Tried In-N-Out burger for the first time. Animal style, with onions (Morgan's recommendation). Not too bad! I still prefer Five Guys.
I'm a squirrel whisperer. On the campus of Sac State, I discovered that I could make this chirping sound that attracted squirrels. Seriously, they would run at me and stand up, just like in this picture.

I also went to San Francisco, had a blast!
Ice Cream from Bi-Rite, as per Cat from Strawberry Mochi's rec.
Er, Morgan is kissing me, not mugging me.

Birthday cheesecake. I absolutely adore key lime pie cheesecake.
We went to Monterey to go to the beach on my birthday... and it was cold, windy with a bit of rain. Combine that with being carsick. Fail! Morgan felt so bad that the next day we had a birthday do-over (even though it was completely not his fault, can't control the weather!).

I'm also sort of obsessed with the wide array of flora and fauna in CA that doesn't exist in MN... so...

Potted plants around San Francisco.

Have a great night! I'm so glad to be back.

Memorial Day- Thank you for those who served and didn't come back and the sacrifice your families made.

Products featured were purchased by me, or given to me as a gift. For additional information, please refer to my Disclosure Policy. 

**CLOSED** A Little Giveaway- From OPI Spiderman Collection

Saturday, May 26, 2012
**Edit: The contest has been updated, all the kinks should be worked out! Sorry about that folks, the form that you needed to fill out was left set on private.**

May 26th. Do you know what day it is? My birthday! How old am I? Well, a lady never reveals her age.

Any case, I'm off to enjoy a day at the beach and dinner with my love. I thought I'd have a little give away, nothing spectacular or anything, just a little something to thank you guys for reading.

What is it? A bottle of OPI Just Spotted The Lizard and Number One Nemesis from the Spiderman Collection.

Thank you for reading and entering! Good luck.

Products featured were purchased by me, for the sole purpose of giving them away. For additional information, please refer to my Disclosure Policy.

Stamped: Ferns over LeChat Dare 2 Wear Enchanted Forest

Friday, May 25, 2012
Heya folks!

Another automated post, as I'm still on vacation.
This is manicure I did earlier last week. I had picked up two Sally Hansen Quick Color Pens (you know, those horrid click pens full of polish) in Green Chrome from Big Lots because I had heard that they were excellent for stamping. They were $1.50 each, and it was a fun little project to tackle.
I had read instructions online about how to dissemble them, but what I ended up doing was a bit more crude. In order to decant them into an empty bottle that I had laying around, I simply took a hot soldering iron and burned a hole through the top of the barrel. Burn, baby, burn. Hey, it worked!
As it turns out, the Green Chrome was phenomenal for stamping. It was thin, but very pigmented and transferred very well.

Here, I stamped using Plate XL C over LeChat Dare 2 Wear Enchanted Forest. Here's Enchanted Forest by itself.

I'll have a proper review of my LeChat polishes later on, but let me just tell you- this polish has instantly become one of my favorites. A gorgeous, ivy green jelly. Here, with two coats it is almost opaque- the splotchy patches on my pinky and ring finger come from the flash- you know how flash makes things look more translucent than they actually are. In real life, it looks absolutely perfect.

Take care, have a great long weekend (those of you that have Monday as a holiday, that is)!

By the way... small birthday giveaway coming up tomorrow. Nothin' fancy. Just a little sumpin' sumpin'.

**This is a scheduled post, I'm on vacation! I'll be back at the end of the month, and it might take me a while to read all the comments. Thank you for reading and for your patience!**

Products featured were purchased by me, for my own use. For additional information, please refer to my Disclosure Policy.

Review: BaByliss Pro 2800 Porcelain Ceramic Dryer

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I bought a new blow dryer about two months ago when my old one was on its last leg. I thought it was about time that I did a review!

This is not the first time I've used this blow dryer. When I went to cosmetology school, the BaByliss Pro 2800 was the blow dryer that was issued in the kits... until my class started. We received much cheaper, crappier blow dryers (but that's a story for another time). However, I handled the BaByliss quite often as I ended up doing my classmate's hair all the time. I ended up really liking it, which is why I ordered my own.

This model, 2800 runs $56.99 on Amazon (thank goodness for Amazon Prime and free shipping!). 2000 watts, ionic ceramic. To me, that's mumble jumble and quite technical- what you really want to know is how it performs.

It's hefty. Not needlessly heavy, more like a sturdy sort of way. It's definitely not flimsy, I can't tell you how many times I've seen this blow dryer dropped! It has two heat settings and two pressure settings as well as a cool shot button. The intake of the blow dryer screws off for easy filter cleaning.

The BaByliss 2800 gets HOT. Really, really hot. The first time I dried my hair, I accidentally burnt my neck because I wasn't aware of how hot the 2800 had heated up my round brush. HOT HOT HOT. Don't forget the heat protectant, ever.  For the average user, you might find that the medium heat setting is all you need. Another nice thing about this model is the high pressure. For me, a blow dryer is nothing without steady, high pressure. It comes with a concentrator nozzle, which is nice because combined with a round brush and good technique, high pressure is the difference between frizzy hair and sleek hair.

If I had to name one flaw... well, the only thing that I can think of is that the cool shot button doesn't provide cool air instantly (you know me and my need for instant gratification). It takes about 5-8 seconds for the cool air to kick in, but that makes perfect sense since the blow dryer is blowing so hot- it can't instantly cool down.

What it comes down to is that for $57, I think that this is a fantastic personal blow dryer. I'm not sure how many years I'll get out of this model, but I definitely will repurchase this again unless something else better is available at this price.

What blow dryer do you currently use? What do you like about it, do the results justify the price?

**This is an automated post. I'm on vacation! I'll be back the last week of May, so it might take some time for me to read all of your comments. Thank you so much for being a reader and being patient with me!**

Product featured was purchased by me, for my own use. For additional information, please refer to my Disclosure Policy.

Flocked Nails

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I saw a lot of fuzzy flocked nails recently, so I'd give the look a try.

I went to Michaels and their Recollections brand flocking powder was on clearance for a little over a dollar. I took this as a sign that the universe wanted me to have fuzzy nails. I picked up the color Emerald and followed this tutorial here by Cupcake's Clothes. That didn't work out very well for me (I think it's because the length of my flocking powder looks to be much longer than hers), so I actually did it another way.

Instead of pouring the flocking powder onto my nails, I poured a bit of it onto a piece of paper. Then while my polish was wet, I pressed my nail into it, and used my finger to press the powder firmly into my nail. Then dipped it back into the powder and pressed the powder again. That way, my nails were at maximum furriness (my descriptions of nails are getting weirder and weirder) because every bit of polish surface had flocking powder stuck to it.

It was a weird feeling. After it dried, I kept on rubbing my fingers because the velvety texture was so odd. I don't know if I'll wear this type of thing again, because I would absentmindedly pick at the fuzz and because removal was quite messy. Oh well, I'll try anything once!

By the way, my base color is Color Club Wild Child.

Have you tried out this fuzzy nail trend?

**This is a scheduled post. I'm on vacation! I'll be back by the end of May, it might take me some time to read all the comments. Thank you for reading and for your patience!**

Products featured were purchased by me, for my own use. For additional information, please refer to my Disclosure Policy.

Guest Post: Sunny's Picks - The Crème de la Crème of French Pharmaceutical Products

Monday, May 21, 2012
Howdy folks! I'm still on vacation so today's post was written by the fabulous Sunny from Mostly Sunny. How fantastic is she for doing all the hard work of writing a post helping me out while I'm sleeping in and going to the beach? Today, she'll be talking about something that fascinates me- French skincare products!

Living in Belgium, I tend to complain that a lot of fantastic brands that are not really available here. However, I also tend to forget there are many amazing French pharmaceutical skincare products that are. All I have to do is enter a pharmacy, and I can get lost among all the reasonably-priced yet effective choices there.
If you have always been curious about French pharmaceutical products but don’t know where to start, below are my 5 top picks! Depending on your needs, you can go from there, and who knows? You might want to explore further later!

Bioderma Sensibio H2O
If I were to tell you makeup can be easily removed with water, you would probably think I’m mad. Think twice. This super gentle micellar water removes all non-waterproof makeup easily, including gel liner!
As much as I enjoy putting on makeup, at the end of the day all I want to do is take everything off so that my skin can breathe freely again. However, just thinking about having to go through the getting my face wet—massaging makeup remover all over my face—washing it off and probably getting half of my top wet process, I drag my feet.
With Bioderma Sensibio however, I can wet some cotton pads, wipe everything off,  sit down and chill with cleansed and soft skin until it’s time to give it another quick wash, put on lotion and all that jazz before going to bed.
For those of you who go through a long day with makeup on, this is godsend. For beauty bloggers, it is a must-have. I can’t even remember how many times this has saved my life. 5 lip swatches in a row? Not a problem. Changing eye looks by wiping off only the eyeshadow with a Q-tip? Not a problem (that way you don’t have to redo eyeliner and mascara). It gives you a clean slate to start with, not greasy or sticky. For bonus calming benefits? Try to keep it in your fridge!

Caudalie Beauty Elixir
I have been a Caudalie fan girl for at least 8 years now, and this was the first product I ever purchased from them. People ask me all the time what’s good in this range, and I tell them: just go ahead, pick something that suits your skin type, and start from there. I have tried so many things from Caudalie, and none of them was ever a disappointment.
With the prospect of the warmer season, you might find a little bottle of their Beauty Elixir more than pleasant to have in your handbag for a midday pick-me-up. This baby contains a bit of oil, so you have to shake it up a bit before spraying it on your face. If the spritz is a little too strong, you can alternatively spray it into your palm, rub it gently between your palms, and cover your face with them. It smells minty and it’s a little cooling (it does contain alcohol. That’s why as much as I enjoy it, I wouldn’t use it every two hours), so if you live in a warm climate you might really appreciate it.
I typically use this around midday or early afternoon. First I use a blotting sheet to blot my T-zone in case it has got a little shiny, and then I use this on my face. I don’t have the impression that it makes my makeup melt off. Instead, it’s a nice wake-up call and makes your foundation stay on better.

La Roche Posay Effaclar K
I have been plagued by blackheads on my nose since the age of 12. My skin is otherwise unproblematic, but the blackheads have always been a pain. I used to clean them once every week with a peel-off sheet/mask, but of course they just grew right back so I had to keep repeating the process. Until the day La Roche Posay Effaclar K was introduced into my life…
Effaclar K is one of the products in the Effaclar line. It is acid, but in a very gentle form. It is more like a gel, and it is absorbed very fast into your skin, and it continuously exfoliates to get rid of dead skin cells. Depending on your skin type, you might or might not be able to use this all over your face twice a day. On my T-zone it’s not a problem, but on my cheeks I can only use it occasionally. Ever since I started using it, my hormone-induced monthly breakout is definitely under control, and the blackheads on my nose are definitely going away. They haven’t completely disappeared, but my nose is significantly smoother without me using any kind of improper force. I’d like to believe that if I keep sticking to Effaclar, I will eventually be able to get rid of them!
I use this after my toner. I usually follow up with a lotion at night, but young or very oily skin might have enough hydration from this alone. When I see acne forming, I dab it on thicker before bedtime, and the next morning it’s either gone or almost gone.
If you have blackheads or acne, give this a try. You’re not going to regret it!

Darphin Organic Chamomile Aromatic Care
I used to have a hard time imagining using oil, even dry oil, on my face. However, either because I’ve moved to a much colder, drier country, or because my skin is aging (eeeee), I have realized a good oil works wonders. My favorite ever? Darphin Organic Chamomile Aromatic Care.
This might seem pricey, but you only need 3 drops for your whole face. I think the packaging could use some improvement, but otherwise it is a great treat before bedtime. I put my clean palm against the bottle, flip it over three times, rub my palms together, inhale the nice chamomile fragrance, and cover my face with my palms. Immediately my skin is glowing. Not greasy, but glowing. The oil is practically absorbed in front of my very eyes. If the weather is really cold and dry, I might follow up with a lotion. If not however, I can go to bed like that.
The result? Perfect skin with all signs of fatigued erased!
It’s very soothing and gentle, and my skin adores it. I sometimes find my skin a little saggy and tired-looking at the end of the day. With the Chamomile Aromatic Care however, my skin is again plump and healthy, ready to face the day!

NUXE Rêve de Miel Lip Balm
My lips are finicky. I always cover them up with a rich lip balm before going to bed. However, it depends on their mood whether I wake up with supple and soft lips, or shrivel and dry ones. After I found this lip balm, I have systematically woken up with soft and plump lips! I don’t even need any lip treatment during daytime anymore. Just this before going to sleep, and I’m all set!
I usually dislike lip products that come in pots, but since I only use this before bedtime, I can make sure my hands are clean. I swirl my finger in the pot slowly, and after a couple of circles there is about enough. I would suggest you do it slowly. The texture of this balm is very thick, so you need some time for it to melt. Once it’s melted, it goes on your lips pretty smoothly. If it is not properly melted, you might feel tiny grains. Don’t worry, just press them together and move around a little. The grains will disappear.

Now you are ready to go to sleep and wake up with luscious soft lips the next day!
Now that I have shared my top 5 picks with you, does any of them sound tempting? Have you tried any of these or anything from these brands? What is your favorite makeup remover/dry oil/lip balm?

-Sunny, your beauty culture translator xx
Hey, everyone! My name is Sunny, and I’m the blogger behind Mostly Sunny. Born and raised in Taipei, I moved to Belgium about three and a half years ago. One day, I decided to sit down in front of my laptop and share something I love with the world, and that something turned out to be beauty! I’m also an unapologetic cat lady and the proud mama of two fur balls named Tango and Muffin.

Thank you so much Sunny for that post! I'm pretty much sold on every single product, now I'm utterly convinced that I need each and every item to look beautiful!

Neon Sugar Spun Manicure

Sunday, May 20, 2012

I impulsively bought a bunch of neons the last time Sinful Colors was on sale at Walgreens. They were so cheery and so damn bright. Now the hard part- trying to figure out an attractive way to wear them.

Remember my earlier manicure using this technique? I said I wanted to try it without topcoat so that it has more of a 3D effect, like drizzling on top of chocolate dipped strawberries.

I painted skittles of various neons-all Sinful Colors- Neon Melon, Dream On, Summer Peach and Pink then used Wet'n'Wild Black Creme "spun" on top.

Have a great night, thanks for looking!

**This is a scheduled post. I'm on vacation! I'll be back at the end of May, so it might take me a while to read any comments. Thank you so much for reading and for your patience!**

Products featured were purchased by me, for my own use. For additional information, please refer to my Disclosure Policy.

Nail Art Supplies- The Basics

Friday, May 18, 2012

Originally, I had intended this to be a quick post but somehow I wound up typing more than I thought.  I guess this is sort of a "behind the scenes" type post to show you guys some of the things I use when creating my manicures.

The basics:

1. Acetone
Handy for anyone doing their nails, even if you're not doing nail art. I prefer acetone to nail polish removers that contain water and other ingredients or non-acetone removers because acetone works faster and in my opinion smells better than non-acetone removers, even though its own scent is quite strong. I add a bit of glycerin to mine to keep it from getting mummy fingers (read loodie loodie loodie's very helpful explanation here) and my preference is 1 teaspoon of glycerin and 1 teaspoon of water added to every 16oz bottle of acetone. I like it that way because it is just enough glycerin to keep your fingers from drying out, doesn't leave much of a residue and is still highly effective because the acetone is not too diluted.

2. Nail polish thinner
If I can't find my bottle of nail polish thinner, I won't even attempt a manicure- honest! It's so useful in getting your polish to the right consistency for painting, which is especially important when you're mixing colors on an open surface like a piece of foil or whatever you use for a palette. My favorite is Orly Nail Lacquer Thinner (I literally have backup bottles) because the only two ingredients are butyl acetate and ethyl acetate, the two most common solvents contained in nail polishes. I have Seche Restore also, and I know that Sally Beauty Supply sells a brand called Beauty Secrets but those contain toulene and heptane (respectively). Adding toulene to Big 3 Free polish sort of defeats the purpose of having Big 3 Free polish, you know? I just like to not add anything to a bottle of polish that wasn't already there.

3. Vaseline
I can't even begin to explain how many uses petroleum jelly has! It's great if you're doing water marbling, you can coat your fingers and cuticles with jelly before dipping it into the design. It makes polish peel off very easily once it's dried, instead of trying to clean up half your hand with remover. Also great for covering cuts on your fingers to protect it from the sting of polish remover if you're masochistic stubborn like me and insist on doing your nails even with paper cuts.

4. Palette
A palette to mix colors is really helpful, especially if you have limited colors or need to mix shades for a fantastic ombre manicure. Whether you're using a piece aluminum foil, a glass dish or something else (I use a tin that's meant to hold gift cards, fancy huh!) it should probably be acetone resistant.

5. Fast Dry top coat
Lots of nail art can involve overlapping layers, or layers that are already dry. I'm not a patient person. If it wasn't for fast dry top coats, I wouldn't do my nails period.  I use a variety of them (every one under the sun, it seems). Usually I use Sally Hansen Insta Dri. I know lots of people like Seche Vite, but it tends to get very goopy very quickly, like 1/2 way through the bottle. I also like Barielle's No Chip Speed Dry and Ultra Speed Dry Manicure Extender but do not like CND Speedey because it tends to "pick up" your nail polish color and make it bleed.

6. Brush for clean up
This one is self explanatory. I use a small natural bristle brush (natural bristles because synthetic ones will sometimes be dissolved by acetone) dipped in remover to help clean up my cuticles if I'm doing a extremely messy manicure. You can buy these at Michaels, the one I'm using is a 3/8th Lowell Cornell Maxine's Mop. Pretty cheap, I think $4 or so.

7. Small scissors
I use a small pair of Tweezerman Nose, Ear, Facial hair scissors because they're rounded and I have a tendency to toss my nail scissors into the supply box, later reaching into the box groping around for them... and a desire to not get stabbed. Any small scissors will do, for precision. You could use embroidery scissors, even.

8. Tweezers
You know what tweezers do. Picking up small piece of things, placing them on other things. Don't use your good, sharp tweezers. Cheap ones will do.

9. Orange wood sticks
Again, a myriad of uses. Pushing back cuticles, mixing colors, etc. I have two kinds pictured here. The long sticks have square, beveled edges while the short ones have a pointed end and and the other side has a rounded bevel edge.

10. Small nail striping polish bottle filled with acetone
This is very handy! It's great for cleaning up stained cuticles and for blurring and dragging polish. It's also a very useful thing to have because instead of buying lots of polish stripers in lots of colors, you can can use the brush plus any polish you want and just shake the little bottle to clean the brush.

Information overload, anybody?

I hope that covers most of it, but if you have any questions- feel free to ask! I'll have other posts on other tools I use for nail art as well as polishes that I use.

Products featured were purchased by me, for my own use. For additional information, please refer to my Disclosure Policy. 

Review: Conair You Curl XL Conical Wand

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

When it comes to hair tools and hair products... I'm a snob. I really am. I turn my nose up at drugstore products and insist on professional tools. The last time I bought a drugstore tool... must have been about three years ago, I bought a cheap Revlon iron that didn't heat up at all. However, I am really pleased to be able to tell you about how much I love my newest curling wand, the Conair You Curl XL.

(By the way... the box that it comes in was super large and impossible for me to photograph without glare)

I've been wanting a conical curling wand for the longest time now, but was a little hesitant to spend the money on one. By chance, I happened upon the reviews for the Conair You Curl on MakeupAlley. To my surprise, it had amazing reviews- and priced at around $30, it really was a pretty good deal.

I picked the XL version, which has a larger barrel than the original. At the widest, the barrel is 1 1/4" and tapers to a 3/4" point. I picked the XL because I wanted looser, more carefree curls. If you're going for tighter, more Taylor Swift-esque ringlets that are full of energy, I suggest getting the original size You Curl.

It comes with a heat resistant half glove, which is nice in theory but was way too big and awkward for my small hands. I found that I was more likely to fumble and drop the hot wand on my neck with it on, I'd rather risk a few burnt fingertips. The You Curl wand has a nice range of temperature, up to 400 degrees F and heats up very quickly. I found that the 330 setting was perfect for creating the soft spirals that I desired. Pair with a little bit of Kenra Hot Spray, these were my results.

For this particular relaxed, soft curls I started wrapping my hair about halfway down the length, widest part of the barrel first, alternating directions around the barrel for every section. I used large sections, holding each around the wand for about 10 seconds and completely curling my hair in roughly five minutes.

I'm really happy that I bought this Conair You Curl XL conical wand. It's a nice option to have, to make me look a little more polished and a little less "blah"!

Do you have a conical wand? Do you love it, hate it?

Product featured were purchased by me, for my own use. For additional information, please refer to my Disclosure Policy. 

Barielle Elle's Spell Layered

Monday, May 14, 2012

Last night, I was organizing my polishes when I came across my only Barielle polish- Elle's Spell. I haven't used it in so long, I decided to give it a go. The last time I used it was... oh gosh, well over a year ago. Probably when it came out, actually.

I used Love & Beauty Purple (oh gee, what a creative name) as a base which is a bright purple with some neon pigment in it, as it dries rather matte. Topped off with Elle's Spell, the total effect was stunning. The red violet really plays up the rainbow range of flakies. I think this rekindled my love for flaked polishes- something that was killed earlier this year due to so many of them becoming available.

Now that I noticed that I only have one Barielle polish, I feel like this needs to be remedied! I'm thinking of ordering a few- Falling Star and Buddha-ful look gorgeous.

Have a great night!

Products featured were purchased by me, for my own use. For additional information, please refer to my Disclosure Policy.

Stamped: Inspired by Something Vintage

Sunday, May 13, 2012
So if you follow me on Twitter, you might have seen this Instagram picture of a neat thing that I picked up.  My city holds this annual garage sale that hundreds of households participate in every year. I happened to be browsing around with my friend Chelsea, looking for hard to find polishes (hey, Kris from My Lucid Bubble found bottles of Clarins 230, a girl can dream) when I spotted THIS.

What is this, might you ask?

A fully functioning portable hair dryer from the 1960s, that's what! Even if it hadn't worked, I'm pretty sure that I would have forked over the $2 (that's right- a mere two dollars) for this interesting piece of hair history. I'd show you the inside, but it's still dusty because I didn't clean it out yet. If you're curious, google "Oster Vintage Salon Dryer".

Today's mani is based off of that pastel mint color.

I used Sally Hansen Mint Sorbet as the base. Using plate BM 224 from my Bundle Monster set, I stamped Sally Hansen Silver Sweep and Konad Special White all over in a random fashion. For some reason, I had a rather hard time stamping with this particular design, as though it was not etched deep enough.

Have a great night, thanks for checking out this manicure.

Products featured, including that raggedy hair dryer, were purchased by me, for my own use. For additional information, please refer to my Disclosure Policy.