Beauty

What’s in your purse?

Oh how I wish I were one of those girls who was perfectly content with carrying a small handbag consisting of my wallet, keys and cell phone. But I’m not, I am the girl who get’s anxiety when I have to choose which precious items to bring in a small clutch on a night out.

I don’t understand how a woman can feel comfortable leaving the house without certain “just in case” items. While organizing my purse last week, I decided to lay everything out and try to downsize. Needless to say, I wasn’t terribly successful.

After de-cluttering I was left with the following:

An agenda

Wallet

Notepad

Sunglasses

Tire pressure checker?

Hair clips

Hand lotion

Deodorant

Craisins

Listerine mist

Blot sheets

Tanning goggles

Nail glue

Cuticle oil

Cuticle balm

Nail file

Nail polish remover pads

4 lip glosses

1 lip stick

Business cards

4 Pens

1 Highlighter

Tampons

Mace

Wet naps

A computer/phone screen cleaner

Hairspray

Tylenol

A small sewing kit

 In the black bag are bobby pins, a small lint roller and other misc. items. Also, not photographed are my keys, cell and on-the-go makeup bag*

Normally, carrying this many items in one bag would be a messy nightmare, but lucky for me, I have a FABULOUS as seen on TV product that is actually super practical and 100% effective. The Kangaroo Keeper!

It’s so perfect for any purse, particularly a bag with no structure.

Do you carry any of the same things as me? Or are you one of the lucky-to-be-low maintenance ladies?

How-To: At Home Gel Manicures

I am a devout gel mani enthusiast and regularly do them at home. People are always asking me where I get my nails done and are surprised to learn that I do them myself. It is SO much easier than you’d think. Those contemplating buying a kit for home, I would highly suggest it. I wanted to share just how easy it is with my step by step tutorial:

(Just a heads up- I use a combination of OPI Axxium and Gelish products. Gel manicures consist of a base coat, nail color, and top coat. Mixing products is not totally taboo)

(My friend Stephanie sent this to me! ^ I died when I saw it, I had to share :))

Okay, so here are my nails at the start. I had experimented with tips the week before so they were looking pretty rough to begin with…

1) Using a buffing cube and nail file- buff and shape your nails until they are smooth on top and have your desired shape/look.

2) There is a clear, liquid solution that is applied to your nails before you begin applying any polish- it helps dry out the nail so the gel will adhere (I apologize, I forgot to photograph it-nothing too exciting lol).

3) Base coat. This is a Gelish Mini Foundation base coat- apply a thin layer to all nails on your first hand without touching the surrounding skin or cuticles.

4) Cure nails in the UV light for about a minute.

*TIP* Don’t touch your nails with anything but the polish brushes throughout the manicure until they are completely done, beacuse they will be tacky each time they come out of the UV light.

5) Paint your first coat of color onto all five nails, again making sure to refrain from touching the edges of your nails or cuticles. I chose to use “Exhale” a Gelish Mini color.

6) Cure under UV lamp for another minute.

7) Apply second coat of color.

8) Cure under UV lamp for another minute.

9) Apply a thin layer of clear gel top coat. I use the OPI Axxium top coat.

10) Cure for 2 minutes.

11) Spray all 5 nails with the nail cleansing solution to help remove any tacky-sticky residue. I use the NAS-99 nail cleanser that comes with the OPI Axxium starter kit.

12) Rub each nail with a cotton ball to remove the solution and tackiness.

13) Repeat steps 1-12 on your second hand.

And there you have it! Your nails are 100% dry, super shiny, and should last for about 2 weeks!

If you have a steady hand and like to do your own manicures, I would highly suggest investing in your own gel manicure system, it is definitely affordable and worth every penny! 🙂

Does anyone else do their own nails at home?

**UPDATE**

I wrote this post last Friday and waited a week to share so I would have an updated picture. Here are my nails this morning… 8 days later 🙂

They are still flawless, but I’m so tempted to paint them a new color! Decisions, decisions 🙂

Do You Have a “Want List”?

So as you know, I’m making a huge effort to spend less money this year, I’m really proud of myself because so far I’ve broken a number of bad spending habits that I had developed. I’ll do a full post on ways to save money in the near future, but today I just wanted to share one of the things I’ve been doing to keep myself and my wallet in check.

Create your want list….

Every time I have the urge to buy something, I add it to my “want list” instead of impulsively purchasing it (which I would have normally done). The best thing about doing this is that it creates some structure for my purchases. While in reality, I could go ahead and buy most of the things on here right now-I don’t need to. I’d rather wait until I needed certain items or until I found a really good sale before buying them.

Some things currently on my want list: a cute new day planner, more gel nail polish colors, a new barrel hairbrush, blue suede pumps, a healthy cookbook, the new iphone, new vanilla candles, and some colorful tights.

It’s smart to wait to buy things that you want; it wont leave you as strapped for cash when unexpected, but important things come up (a spontaneous girls night out, a birthday gift for someone, an oil change, a new bronzer after yours falls and cracks all over the bathroom floor (ugh!)etc.) and it gives you something to look forward to!

You may be surprised to find that sometimes the things you thought you really wanted make their way off of your list…you may change your mind and set your heart on something completely different! It’s definitely helped me resist the urge to impulsively spend.

What’s on your want list?

I’m Going Nude!

Right now I am so obsessed, and inspired by all things nude and natural. Everything from neutral clothing and accessories, to natural hair and makeup! Sometimes less is more 🙂

(How freaking beautiful is Minka Kelly?!)

What are you currently loving?

Quick Eyebrow Trick!

Is there a quick beauty trick that you MUST do before you leave the house? An extra spritz of hairspray, some smoothing serum, a quick floss of your teeth? I have one that is a complete necessity …brushing and shaping my eyebrows!

It is so quick and easy, requires the purchase of nothing and will completely polish your look.

1) Grab a clean mascara brush- you can find these on display at nearly every beauty store. There are usually bunches of them available for customers to use for testing mascaras. Whenever I pop into Sephora I always grab a couple to bring home (I hope that doesn’t count as stealing..it’s like a sample!)

2) Place the tip of the brush close to the nozzle of your hairspray and spritz a small amount onto the tip.

3) Brush your eyebrows from the center of your face out. Be sure the path of the brush is drawn to enhance your natural arch.

Before
After (my apologies- my eyebrows were in a need a tweeze when this was taken)

(Be sure to run the brush under hot water when you’re done, otherwise the hairspray will build up and harden)

And voila! I am so nutty about doing my brows in the morning that I carry an extra brush and pocket sized hairspray in my purse just in case I forget!

Do you have a daily beauty-must?  Share it in the comments below 🙂

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