Friday, November 8, 2013

Some beauty stuff, and a CMA "recap" as you bloggers like to refer to things as.

Happy Friday, y'all! Sorry I didn't post this yesterday like I planned. I wanted to, but then I got carried away with a puppy play date at the beach :) Yes, it was 80 degrees yesterday here in beautiful San Diego. Do you hate me?

First thing, if you've read this blog for a few months, you know I used to be OBSESSED with my CND Shellac manis. And I can no-longer afford them (champagne taste on a beer box-wine budget, anyone?). So, I've been trying and trying and trying to figure out an afforable way I can do my nails myself and still have them look half as good as they did with my amazing nail girl Olga's expertise (I'll be back, soon, my love!). I think I may have FINALLY figured it out.

I want to preface this by saying I saw this pin floating around and though, hm, I should try that:

I read through the comments on that blogger's post and saw that in the end, the Hard as Wraps made the paint peel off pretty much in one whole piece within a couple of days. Then I realized, I don't give a shit how long they last, as long as they look decent for a couple days I can re-do them. I just want them to LOOK good. So out I went to buy that Sally Hanson stuff, and luckily I saw THIS:

So I bought that too. I tried numerous combinations of the Sally Hanson base coast and the no-chip's ahead top coat, and while they were looking good, I was getting air bubbles out the wazoo. And I couldn't figure out why. Alas, last week I was obsessing over it and somehow I figured out that it was, indeed, only the Sally Hanson's Hard and Wraps that was causing the air bubbles. Nothing else.

If that didn't clarify, DO NOT BUY THAT STUFF.

So here's my magic regimen that creates decent-looking, fake gel/shellac manis at home, with no UV lamp required:

  • 1 coat Essie No Chips Ahead
  • 3 coats nail color of your choice (I try to stick to OPI or Essie), letting them dry *almost* completely between each coat
  • 1 coat Essie No Chips Ahead

Please ignore my cuticles. That's one part of a manicure I don't know how to replicate :) 

Let them dry for at least 10 minutes before you do anything at all, really, and then give them at least an hour before you go trying to button your shirt up or anything crazy like that. Remember, you don't have a UV lamp (if ya do, good for you!), so you have to give them time. Patience is probably the most key ingredient to good nails.

Compared with CDN Shellac done professionally:

So obviously they don't look like THAT, but they're satisfactory to me. I really do think that Essie No Chips Ahead is the secret ingredient. They usually last me 3-4 days before a chip. And honestly, if you want an at-home manicure without a UV light that doesn't chip in any time over that, I think you might have lost your mind. The only thing I can think of that would deliver that is CND's new product Vinylux, which you have to be a professional to buy, as far as I know.

So anyway, there's that. Also, I recently found a shampoo/conditioner I'm obsessed with.

For my birthday, my co-workers got me a 3-month subscription to Birchbox (I know, they're awesome). In my first one, I got this Shampoo and Conditioner:
The full-sized bottles are $22 a pop! Not in my budget, that's for damn sure. But I LOVED them. They smell amazing, and the shampoo is sulfate-free. I know that's like the new buzzword lately, but it's really so much better for your hair than non-sulfate-free. It doesn't strip your hair of oils, therefore dehydrating it, and it's obviously much better for those of us who have color in our hair, too. So I set out to find some cheaper sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner. I remembered that Organix is all sulfate-free, so after checking out L'Oreal's sulfate-free options, I looked at Organix and found these bad boys
They're about $6 each depending on where you get them. And they're buy one get on half off at Ulta. They actually smell IDENTICAL. When I smelled them at the store, I thought it smelled eerily similar. Then I compared them side-by-side and couldn't even tell the difference. The results on my hair are also the same. I'm hooked. So you decide: 
I'll probably be sticking with the Organix for a while. Thanks anyway, Birchbox!
Side note about sulfate free shampoos: They're not supposed to lather well, so stop complaining about that! Sorry, it just drives me nuts when I read reviews about some great products and the "cons" are "doesn't lather well." The beauty industry tricked us all into thinking that the more suds, the better. Not so, my friends. So don't use a ton of the sulfate-free shampoo to try to get more and more bubbles. Also, I just learned this, but it's better to lather the shampoo in your hands before you put it on your hair. I had no idea! So I guess I'm late to that club. But figured I'd pass the word on instead of any of y'all are slow like me. 
So with that outta the way. Can we please discuss the CMA awards??? 
We all know I want to be Carrie Underwood when I grow up, so I don't even need to touch on how freaking fabulous she was. She looked gorgeous the entire time. And those legs. INSPIRATION. 
The only thing I didn't like about the entire thing was, as I'm sure you suspect, Taylor Swift getting honored with the mother effing Pinnacle Award. THE AWARD THAT ONLY GARTH BROOKS HAS RECEIVED BEFORE HER. 
I about lost my mind. 
But whatever. She acted pretty humble, so whatevs. 
Does anyone know if it's factual that Carrie Underwood doesn't like her? Couldn't help my notice my girl Carrie was never once in the same area as T Swift, and had nothing to do with presenting her that award. Hmmmmm.....
Anyhoo. I am going for a run. Wish me luck that again, I don't die. Or pass out. Or anything like that. 
Have a great weekend, everyone!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing the manicure trick!! I love the look of freshly manicured nails, but I am a complete spazz and always chip within like 2 minutes of getting them done (professionally or at home.) I'll be looking for that Essie no chip base/top coat now!