Tag Archives: gel

Winter Nails!

As a beauty lover, my earliest obsession was probably nail polish. Starting as a toddler stealing mommy’s top coat to now owning my own mini-salon in my bathroom (which I definitely recommend for both budget and time savings!), I have always seen nails as being a significant detail that can express personality as well as complete a look.

Unfortunately, I also inherited my grandma’s teeny hands with the shortest fingers possible. What that means is small nail beds and little work space for a nail artist. Did this stop me from experimenting with everything anyway? No way! Did it affect my eventual preferences and maybe my slight love affair with acrylics? Indeed.

By now, I know what works for me and what definitely does not. For winter, one of my favorite designs is a baby French with spakly variations–classic, yet fun and holiday-spirited. Here are some that I love:

French with metallic lace detail
Diagonal French acrylics with glitter detail

This time, I was undecided as to what design I wanted, so I just went to the salon and got some simple French acrylics to hide my winter-ridden nail beds:

My simple pink French manicure
My simple pink French manicure

Now, I was a little dissatisfied with the thick white tips (I like them thin!) so I filed off some length after this picture. Then, I decided I wanted to go full-on iridescent glitter with a protective top coat, so I sprinkled on some Nail Art glitter over a gel base, applied two Gelish top coats, and UV-set those sparkly babes right at home in my bathroom salon (maybe a total cost of $1 and about 15 min). The result?

My gel-set glitter French pinky
My gel-set glitter French pinky (same one from above)

As you can see, much healthier color and definitely winter-spirited–goes well with all your holiday parties as well!

Stay tuned for more holiday posts soon!


Review: Smashbox Primer vs. Monistat Anti-Chafing Gel (Dupe?)

You read correctly–bloggers have been going crazy about this Monistat gel (for which I still do not completely understand the intended purpose) as a dupe for the popular Smashbox Photofinish Primer, so I put the hype to the test.

Let me start by noting that I do not use Smashbox primer, nor have I ever bought it. I have tried it multiple times in trial sizes, and it’s ok, but it did not do enough for me to justify either the cost or the effort of putting it on. With this hype, though, I figured $6 was worth a retry. (Also, I have combination skin with zero need for extra moisture, hence your dry skin experience may be different.)

Monistat Gel

When you first squeeze out a pump, you will get excited. Wow, this thing really looks like Smashbox. You will analyze the clear blob, maybe take a careful sniff. Hey, it also smells like it.┬áThen, with a deep breath, you will finally pat it on. Success–it feels like it too!

You will then continue with your makeup routine, maybe some concealer, some foundation, some powder. You will tell yourself that it basically looks as Smashbox would, and, feeling like the smart shopper you are, go ahead and go for the well-deserved self-pat on the back. You just saved $30!

Yet, deep down, you’ll know something is off. Maybe it’s the slightly cloudier way it dries. The sheen it leaves before you go for the powder. Or just the fact that you are putting the #1 name in vaginal creams on your face. Whichever it is, you’ll begin to see a little runniness as hours pass, and by the end of the day, you will be questioning whether you had ever put on primer that morning at all. Was it all a dream?

Half-serious stories aside, this gel was somewhat less great than Smashbox on the performance side (more runny, less durable -1), and also broke me out a bit (-2!). It didn’t do much in the way of smoothing anything either, but then again, neither does Photofinish. To me, the only possible worth is that my undereye concealer did stay on somewhat longer with this under it, so we’ll go ahead and donate +1.

An okay dupe if you love Smashbox and will forgo a few performance points, but not for me.